Knife crime charities are calling for Kent Police to take action after an increase in the number of reports where a knife or sharp object was present.
The charity ‘Families Against Knives’ was set up after a family member was brutally murdered in a knife attack. They founded the charity to help deal with their grief and make streets safer for children.
Charity ‘Families Against Knives’ said: ‘There is a problem with knives on our streets and we should be doing more to crack down on it and also discourage people from doing so. We want to change laws around knife crime to make sentences longer and educate the youth so they know the consequences of carrying and using knives. We are working closely with schools and youth centres, as well as trying to help support families that are going through this horrible process.’
The Ben Kinsella Trust agrees: ‘Over the last 2 years we have seen that knife crime is no longer the preserve of big cities. It is important that all young people are educated about the dangers of knife crime and are protected against the crime. Putting a strategy in place is important to ensure the resources are targeted in the right places. We also need to learn form the approach taken in Scotland to lower knife crime figures. Sustainable funding and taking a public health approach to the problem has yielded fantastic results – something England and Wales could learn from.’
Kent Police take part in anti-knife campaigns such as ‘Operation Sceptre’ and they also launched ‘Operation Raptor’ at the end of October.
‘Operation Raptor’ is a country-wide initiative to tackle, disrupt and prevent violent crime.
Assistant Chief Constable Nick Downing said: ‘There has been an increase in reports of violence being committed by young people in Kent. Kent is a safe place to live, work and visit and we are taking a robust stance against violent crime to ensure it stays that way. We simply will not tolerate these types of offences on our streets and will use every tool at our disposal to bring those responsible to justice.
‘We will also work closely with partners, schools and youth groups to educate young people about the considerable risk they may be putting themselves in by becoming involved in crime.’
An FOI request showed there had been an increase in the number of crime reports in Kent where a knife or sharp object was present.