Comet knife crime campaign reveals the darker side of domestic abuse, threats and violence amongst Stevenage minority

PUBLISHED: 14:26 13 November 2016

Cowards Carry Knives

Cowards Carry Knives

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The Comet’s #cowardscarryknives campaign against knife crime continues this week with a revealing in-depth analysis of knife crimes in Stevenage over the past year.

We began the campaign because of our outrage and shock at the stabbing of police dog Finn and his handler PC Dave Wardell in Rowland Road in September.

Since then police have confirmed there has been an upsurge of violent drugs-related crime in the town in recent months, often perpetrated by London gangs.

Amd officers have begun a clamp down, raiding a number of addresses and gathering intelligence.

Of 168 offences involving knives or bladed articles over the past year, only 18 cases actually involved criminals assaulting someone with a knife – and only three of these attacks are classed as stabbings.

Among the worst of these was the alleged murder of Mark Altabas in Angle Ways in April.

Also in April, two offenders answered the door to someone before stabbing him repeatedly in Harrow Court. In August three men set upon a victim and stabbed him in the anus.

In many cases knives have been used to threaten harm. On September 9, a man threatened to stab two police officers while expressing his hatred for the police.

Shockingly on many occasions rowing couples pull knives on each other in fits of rage.

On April 22, a husband and wife got involved in a row, with one grabbing the other by the hair and making threats with a kitchen knife. On July 9 a couple had an argument over a barbecue which resulted in one cutting the other with a knife used for baked potatoes.

On another sinister occasion, it appears a man was lured to an address for ‘a massage’ with a woman.

When the man got there he was attacked by two men who demanded he hand over cash.

In other cases, bladed articles have been used to cause damage or in some cases self-harm. On September 1, police investigated after a man bought razor blades for a person who is known to self harm.

In many cases, knives have been found when police have stopped and searched people on the spot.

Often the weapons used are not knives at all – for example, in many cases beer bottles are used to attack or threaten people or damage their possessions.

Many cases record knives being used to slash car tyres and otherwise damage vehicles.

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