Inspector’s insight into knife crime increase and serious violence strategy

We've been looking at the knife crime picture in Hertfordshire, and the UK as a whole. Picture: Dann

We've been looking at the knife crime picture in Hertfordshire, and the UK as a whole. Picture: Danny Loo - Credit: Archant

A Herts police inspector says better recording and changing definitions are partially responsible for an increase in knife crime in the county.

Inspector Andrew Palfreyman from Herts polices crime reduction and community safety unit speaks abou

Inspector Andrew Palfreyman from Herts polices crime reduction and community safety unit speaks about latest knife crime figures. Picture: Herts police - Credit: Archant

Inspector Andrew Palfreyman from the force’s crime reduction and community safety unit said: “Knife-related incidences have been increasing across the country over the past three or four years. This is partly due to better recording of crime and changes to the definitions by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and fire & rescue services of what constitutes knife crime.

“Any incident where the presence of a knife has been mentioned or implied is now recorded as a knife-related incident, even if no evidence of a weapon is found.

“New recording rules also means that we record a separate crime for each victim, where previously when a crime had several victims, this would have been recorded as a single crime.

“Hertfordshire Constabulary has also invested in making it easier to report crime online and improved victim support services, which may have had a positive impact on the number of crimes reported.

Inspector Andrew Palfreyman from Herts polices crime reduction and community safety unit speaks abou

Inspector Andrew Palfreyman from Herts polices crime reduction and community safety unit speaks about latest knife crime figures. Picture: Herts police - Credit: Archant


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“The majority of recorded knife-related crimes in Hertfordshire are non-violent and do not result in injuries. In response to the increase in knife crime, we have developed a ‘serious violence strategy’ – which is a long-term plan involving a comprehensive approach to serious violent crime in the county.

“This has been developed in partnership with local and county councils, schools, government, neighbouring forces, charities and other agencies.

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“We are aware that there has been a significant increase in young people being involved in knife-related incidents in Herts.

“There is little or no evidence to suggest that habitual knife carriers are a notable problem and that knives are more probably being carried for self-protection.

“To address this rise our police force has been running knife amnesties over the past two years and supplemented this with test purchase operations, knife arches and high visibility patrols in areas where knife crime has most often occurred. We have been utilising powers to identify individuals carrying knives and conducting out operations specifically to disrupt criminal activity linked to knife crime.

“We will be focusing on knife crime over the next three years and plan to conduct several initiatives working alongside our partners, aimed at educating young people about the dangers of knife crime and working with our neighbouring forces to ensure known offenders do not move cross border.”

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