Neighbourhood Policing Teams join forces to tackle and prevent knife crime
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The Wellingborough and East Northants Neighbourhood Policing Teams have been making knife crime a matter of priority as part of Northamptonshire Police’s new campaign.
The Force launched the countywide operation on October 1, which aims to prevent and tackle this type of offending through both targeted policing activity and raising awareness of the common misconceptions around carrying knives.
Throughout October, neighbourhood policing teams in the east of the county have carried out various activities including both uniformed and plain clothes patrols in hot spot areas where knife crime is prevalent.
Officers conducted 14 stop and searches, which resulted in seven people being given out of court disposals for the possession on cannabis and one person being charged for the possession of an offensive weapon.
Other activity throughout the month has included various weapon sweeps both in the community and in private property, including licensed premises and secondary schools.
Although the checks were negative at the pubs in Rushden and the four schools – Raunds Manor, Wollaston, Huxlow and Ferrers – a knife was found during a sweep in Robin Lane, Wellingborough.
While a further 26 knives have been safely removed from the streets after being handed in at one of the seven knife amnesty events held in Wellingborough, Rushden, Higham Ferrers, Irthlingborough, Stanwick and Thrapston.
East Northants Neighbourhood Policing Sergeant Leigh Françoise Goodwin said: “The vast majority of people don’t carry knives and are never affected by knife crime, however, the impact of incidents involving knives can be devastating and stay with people for the rest of their life.
“Sadly, this summer we have experienced first-hand what can happen if people decide to carry a knife. The harm caused to families and communities through the tragic loss of life relating to knife crime is devastating which is why it is a matter of priority to us.”
Finally, to coincide with the Force’s annual Op Pumpkin campaign to prevent anti-social behaviour and promote safety around Halloween and Bonfire Night, officers from the neighbourhood team also organised a test purchase operation.
With the support of the Northamptonshire Emergency Services Cadets, checks to make sure shops are not breaking the law by selling knives or fireworks to under 18s, were carried out at seven stores.
As the cadets were under 18, all the stores visited in Wellingborough last Thursday (October 28), acted legally and responsibly, and rightly refused to sell the young volunteers any bladed articles or fireworks.
Wellingborough Neighbourhood Policing Sergeant Regina O’Connor-Frisby added: “Making sure young people don’t have illegal access to knives and fireworks plays an important part in preventing and tackling knife crime, so it was really positive that all the stores we visited are doing the right and lawful thing in refusing to sell these items to under-18s.”
To find out more about how Northamptonshire Police is preventing and tackling knife crime here.
If you have any information or concerns about knife crime in your community, you can report non-emergency crime to 101, visit www.northants.police.uk/RO or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111. In an emergency always call 999.