How police pledge to tackle knife crime after spate of violent incidents in Northampton
Following a traumatic week for the Northampton community, questions have been asked about the force’s plans to deal with knife crime
A senior police officer has spoken out about how Northamptonshire Police intends to deal with a worrying rise in knife crime.
In the last week, there have been three incidents, which police believe are linked and involve individuals who know each other.
All of these incidents have involved teenagers, some as young as 15, which has resulted in parents saying they are ‘scared as hell’ to let their children out and has raised serious concerns.
As the investigations continue into these specific cases, the force is also setting out what will be done, more widely, surrounding knife crime, in the hope to offer reassurance.
Superintendent Kevin Mulligan said: “It’s a sad reflection of society in general that children are carrying knives, for whatever reason, as their own decision or on behalf of others.
“It’s a new issue for Northamptonshire Police for children this young to be carrying knives and it’s not a problem that will get solved entirely by police.
“We are not able to communicate with children as we are with adults.
“I know these children feel more secure and safe by carrying a knife. However evidence proves completely the opposite.
“They are more at risk but children will not understand that. That’s the sad thing.
“Police cannot get this message across alone.”
By the start of October the force will be introducing a ‘very robust’ three-month focus on knife crime and anti-social behaviour (ASB), targeting places and people most at risk.
Superintendent Mulligan added: “We are working closely with children services, probation, education and the unitary authority to make sure we have a supportive and multi-faceted approach to this.
“We will also be making sure parents have the right support and signposting to manage what could be a difficult situation for their children.
“We know knife crime and ASB are linked. If we can get into ASB prevention, it will then prevent knife carrying down the line.
“This will be done with educational resources and activity from police and partners.
“We’ll focus on people and places most at risk for knife crime and ASB.”
Local policing teams will be visiting education settings to ‘really drive home’ the message that it is ‘not the right thing to do to carry a knife’.
Anyone with information regarding any of the incidents from the last week should call police on 101.