Wiltshire Police is bucking the national trend of increasing crime figures by seeing a reduction of 1%.
At a time when violent crime continues to increase, dominate national media and rightly concern local communities a decrease in knife crime of 18% since September 2017, has been recorded in Wiltshire.
Angus Macpherson, Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon, said: “The impact of knife crime can be devastating, not only for the victim and perpetrator, but also their families and friends.
“We are not seeing the same problems in Wiltshire that there are nationally because of the work being done by Wiltshire Police alongside the local authorities and other partners to tackle knife crime. This year I want to be able to allocate funding for a renewed focus on crime prevention using a range of tactics to target those who may commit crime in future.
“But the reality is that the police cannot tackle this alone and need to draw upon the strength of communities to play an equal part.
“Parents and schools can play their part by checking what their children are carrying in their bags; it’s a good way to educate youngsters too that being caught with a knife could mean they end up in serious trouble as well as risking being injured themselves.
“Long term – good education and prevention means the wider community becomes a safer one.
“I am determined that we will continue to do as much as we can to eradicate knife crime in Wiltshire. Just one knife-related incident is one too many and I am acutely aware of this.”
T/ Assistant Chief Constable Deborah Smith, the Force lead for crime, justice and vulnerability said “Wiltshire still remains one of the safest counties to live and work in, and the crime statistics released today show us as one of only four UK forces reporting an overall reduction in crime.
“Due to national media coverage of knife crime problems across the UK, we know this is an area that people have particular concerns about. However, here in Wiltshire, we have seen an 18 per cent reduction in knife crime since September 2017.
“There is still a lot of crime prevention work to do around people carrying knives, as incidents of weapon possession are up 3 per cent, but overall we are making very good progress. In September the Force held a county-wide knife amnesty which resulted in 427 knives being taken off our streets.
“It is concerning that society seems to be becoming more violent and dealing with this problem is just one of the many challenges facing a modern day police force. We’d like to reassure our communities that despite the crime statistics released today showing a 3 per cent increase in violent crimes in Wiltshire, these incidents are often linked to wider issues such as drug and alcohol abuse or mental health episodes. We continue to work closely with our partners to tackle these wider issues.
“It is also important to note that serious violent crimes such as the recent incidents we have seen in Swindon are very rarely random attacks. The people involved in these sorts of crimes are often known to each other and are usually linked to wider issues such as gangs and drug dealing including dangerous drug networks and county lines.
“Wiltshire Police continues to work closely with our partners to focus on early intervention and prevention in relation to violent crime. This is being driven through the Swindon and Wiltshire community safety partnerships and includes new initiatives to tackle violence across the county.
“If you suspect someone of illegally carrying a knife, I’d urge you to report it to the police immediately by calling 101, or 999 in an emergency. Alternatively information can be passed to Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555 111.”
This relates to today’s crime statistics report by ONS. You can see full statistics here –
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Katrina Fleet (Police, Communications Officer, Wiltshire)