Police hope to spread 'defiant' knife crime message in Leeds

The campaign starts next week.
The campaign starts next week.
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A campaign aimed at tackling knife crime and its "terrible consequences" across West Yorkshire is to start.

From Monday, the "week of action" will involve a mixture of targeted enforcement work and educational activity.

A "defiant message" is hoped to be sent out when officers visit the Harehills area of Leeds during the campaign.

It is part of a national project to raise awareness of knife crime's impact on communities.

Detective Chief Inspector Chris Gibson is the operational knife crime lead for West Yorkshire Police.

He said: “In my role as a Senior Investigating Officer I see first-hand the terrible consequences knife crime can bring.

“It can have a devastating impact on the victim and their family but also the perpetrator and their loved ones. It can also cause great concern in local communities.

“Throughout this week and beyond we want to spread a simple message – #StopKnifeCrime.

“Carrying a knife is never the answer – knives take lives and if you carry a knife you risk being sent to prison and increase your chances of being seriously injured or killed.”

Throughout the force will carry out test purchase operations with police cadets to see if shops sell knives to under 18s

Areas witha higher number of knife or bladed instrument offences will be the subject of increased "community engagement activity".

Police will also work with bus companies and increase the presence of PCSOs on them.

And officer will use a "Trojan Bus" technique to help identify those involved in crime and anti social behaviour whilst travelling.

Det Chief Insp Gibson said: “This enforcement work is important and is vital in helping to reassure the communities we serve and to build confidence around knife crime but it can only be part of the solution.

“Education must also play a key role as well and we want to share our #StopKnifeCrime message as far and as wide as possible.

“By publicising the week of action through our social media channels and the wider dangers of knife crime we are helping to get this potentially life-saving message across. Anyone with access to social media can help by sharing our messages – it only takes a couple of seconds.

“Our social media accounts will be regularly updated with what we are doing and how our communities can help educate people about the dangers.

“Although this week is a great opportunity to #StopKnifeCrime our work to tackle the issue is on always ongoing.”

On Saturday, February 17, police will join partners in Harehills community to spread a "defiant message" against knife crime.

Mark Burns-Williamson, West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “We all know the horrendous results of the misuse of knives and I fully support the #StopKnifeCrime campaign.

“Unfortunately knife crime reports are on the increase but it hasn’t gone unnoticed by those that are there to keep us safe and is being tackled by West Yorkshire Police with support from me and my office.

"This week of action is part of that with a focus on enforcement, education and awareness raising giving everyone the opportunity to reject knife crime which can destroy lives.

“Our communities in particular have a real part to play and I would appeal for anyone with information on the illegal carrying or use of knives to report it to the police via 101 or online or anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”