Police set for new crackdown on knife crime as parents say we're "scared as hell" to let kids into Northampton town centre
"The world Is a very frightening place right now and something serious needs to change," says teenager's mum
Police are set to launch a fresh crackdown on violence to reassure parents who admit they are "scared as hell" to let their kids into Northampton town centre.
Two shocking knife attacks involving a 15-year-old and two 16-year-olds in less than a week were the latest to involve young teenagers and prompted a rollout of extra stop and search powers.
A 17-year-old was also arrested following a third stabbing, this time in the Kings Heath, on Sunday (September 19).
Following Thursday's incident — in which a 16-year-old was left in a serious but stable condition after being knifed multiple times at around 6.45pm in Abington Street — one mum posted: "I hate my 18-year-old going through town on a bus to get to college.
"I’ve got a 16 and 13 year old girls asking to go town ... it’s never going to happen
Another added: "They look at us like we are party-poopers but it's not like it was when we was their age. It's not being mean ... people are getting stabbed in in broad daylight these days and it's scary as hell."
The mother of a 16-year-old warned: "I'm just glad he works and goes to sixth form locally. It doesn't matter how well you've bought your kids up and they hang with a good bunch, it only takes them to walk past another group who decide to carry a knife fun and your innocent polite child has no chance!
"The world Is a very frightening place right now and something serious needs to change."
Police arrested two teens over a fight at 3.40pm on Monday which witnesses said involved a machete. One of the pair, aged 15, is in hospital with minor wounds.
Earlier this year, three boys including one aged 16 and two 17-year-olds, were locked up for a total of 11 years for their part in a savage and "unprovoked" attack by six young men on two other teenagers in the McDonald's restaurant on the Drapery in October 2020.
And a 14-year-old Northampton boy was among those arrested following a 4am street fight also on the Drapery in July during which victims were sprayed with bottles containing an unknown substance.
More than 1,000 people were victims of knife crime county-wide during the last 12 months according to the latest official statistics, despite fewer people being out during lockdown. In one month alone, one in three offenders were aged under 18.
Chief Constable Nick Adderley announced that tackling knife crime is a matter of priority for Northamptonshire Police earlier this year and a targeted, sustained campaign of activity are already in the pipeline.
Superintendent Kevin Mulligan said: “We know people are concerned about this escalation in violence, we are too.
“I would like to provide some reassurance that although these incidents have all taken place in very public places, we believe they are all targeted and involved people known to one another.
“Plans to tackle knife crime across Northamptonshire are well underway and we will be announcing more about that work before the end of the month.
“Arrests have been made following each incident and we’re urging anyone with information about any of them, including video footage, to contact us via 101 or by calling Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”
“However, we are appealing for the public to help us. Tell us what you know. Speak to your children about the dangers of knife crime and how, if they carry a knife, they are in danger of either using it on someone else or having it used against them.
“Anyone with information and who is worried about speaking to the police can contact independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously – you do not need to provide your details but can give them any information you have about those who are involved in violence, including knife crime.”