Norfolk’s chief constable Simon Bailey not convinced amnesty will reduce knife crime rise in county
PUBLISHED: 15:10 27 September 2017 | UPDATED: 15:35 27 September 2017
Copyright Archant Norfolk 2015
Norfolk’s chief constable has appeared to rule out the possibility of a knife amnesty being held, despite a rise in blades being used in violent crime in the county.
A crime is now being committed with a knife in Norfolk almost every day on average, according to police figures which show there were 316 knife crimes in Norfolk in the last year.
Amnesty bins have been introduced in other parts of the county, including Suffolk, but despite the rise in knife crime, which has more than trebled in the past three years, they are unlikely to be brought in here.
Norfolk’s chief constable Simon Bailey said: “We need to be very clear, it’s (the rise) against a very, very low level in the first place.”
He added: “Amnesty’s around bins, I’m yet to see any evidence that it makes a difference.
“I’m not sure it’s taking the knives out of the hands of people who are intent on using them.”
Knives have been used in a number of recent murders, including the death of 83-year-old dog walker Peter Wrighton in woodland near East Harling in August this year and of Steve Stannard in Mile Cross in November last year.
Mr Bailey described knife crime as an “awful crime” and said cracking down on knife-related violence was “right at the heart of what we’re working to do”.
He said the force was tackling the “knife crime threat” through its ongoing Operation Gravity crackdown on drug-related violent crime and also by working with youngsters in schools.
He said this “multi-faceted approach” was achieving results and insisted the key thing was to “make sure that those gangs using them know that this is a really hostile place” to come.
Late in 2016 police declared a “critical incident” following an unprecedented spike in drug-related violence which included the murder of Mr Stannard in Norwich in November.
The force’s response was to launch Operation Gravity, a high-profile blitz which has so far seen more than 170 people arrested.
In addition police have been looking to educate youngsters in schools about knife crime, while since March more than 100 young people have also been taught about the dangers of knives by young medics at the StreetDoctors charity which has received funding from Norfolk’s police and crime commissioner Lorne Green.
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