People in Nottinghamshire are now less likely to be affected by knife crime than in most places across the country, new figures have revealed.
The number of offences per 1,000 of the population dropped below the national and regional average for the first time in over ten years in June 2019, it was announced at Nottinghamshire's Violence Reduction Unit board meeting today (Friday 13 December).
It comes as knife crime reduced by 8.4% in Nottinghamshire in the year to the end of October 2019 following a continued and concerted effort to tackle the issue through enforcement and education.
Nottinghamshire Police Chief Constable Craig Guildford said: "We will never stop striving to make Nottinghamshire a safer place but these figures show that we are now proportionally under the national average for knife crime which is a significant achievement despite what we often read in the press.
"At a time when knife crime continues to rise regionally and nationally, we have seen a tangible reduction in offences which shows that our collective and pioneering partnership efforts to tackle the issue are starting to have an impact.
"We were the first Force outside the Metropolitan Police to introduce a dedicated Knife Crime Team. Last year we introduced Schools and Early Intervention Officers into secondary schools across Nottinghamshire to educate young people about knife crime. Earlier this year we introduced a force Robbery Team who are focused on tackling weapon-enabled robberies. This summer we launched the Dare 25 education programme into primary schools which includes a bespoke package on knife and hate crime.
"We have been proactively spending the £1.5m Government surge funding wisely through Operation Scorpion throughout the year.
"A further £880,000 of funding has also allowed the formation of a Violence Reduction Unit which is bringing partner agencies together to work more efficiently and effectively than ever before to tackle knife crime as a public health problem.
"Every time a knife crime happens it is incredibly shocking and sad for our communities and, of course, no matter how much knife crime reduces our resolve remains unstinting.
"That is why we continue to plan and work with our partners on a long-term, continued reduction in knife crime."
Paddy Tipping, Nottinghamshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “I’m delighted that the knife crime trend in Nottinghamshire is going down compared to the rest of the country.
"These results spring from real partnership work with colleagues in councils, education and health. In particular I have been impressed with the help from parents, young people and the voluntary sector. It shows what can be done if we work together.”
City Council Leader Cllr David Mellen said: “I am really heartened that the collective focus in Nottingham on tackling knife crime and dealing with its underlying causes is really paying off.
"We have never been complacent about this issue, with Notts Police one of the only forces with a knife crime reduction unit and the council continuing to deliver important knife crime awareness and education sessions in schools so our children know the dangers of carrying knives and are deterred from doing so. Local communities and voluntary organisations also play a vital role in standing up against the scourge of knife crime.
"These latest figures, which show you are less likely to be affected by knife crime in Nottinghamshire than most places in the country, hopefully provide some reassurance to people understandably concerned when they hear about terrible incidents which have such a devastating effect on families and our communities.
"With our partners we are determined to continue to reduce and remove knife crime from our streets by targeting efforts at people we have identified as being most at risk of knife crime and those around them who may be at risk of getting involved. We all have a part to play, and we can take comfort from the fact that what we’re doing is working.”