North Herts’ top cop hails Comet’s anti-knife campaign as another Hitchin stabbing makes headlines

A police officer stands guards at the scene of the stabbing in Hitchin.

A police officer stands guards at the scene of the stabbing in Hitchin. - Credit: Archant

North Herts Chief Inspector Julie Wheatley has praised the Comet for our anti-knife campaign.

Chief Inspector Julie Wheatley, who lives in Letchworth.

Chief Inspector Julie Wheatley, who lives in Letchworth. - Credit: Archant

The top cop for the area spoke after last week’s late night Hitchin stabbing in Fishponds Road which left a man with ‘life-changing injuries’.

Hailed our drive to stamp at knife crime, she said: “We are delighted the Comet is helping to raise awareness of knife crime through their campaign and as part of this I would encourage anyone who might have information regarding any of the recent knife crimes, or if you know of anyone who carries a knife, to please report it to us.”

She went on to explain why knife crime statistics appear to be rising. She said: “In the past two years, knife crime figures for North Herts reflect an increase.

“Most of this can be attributed to the changes in the way the force records crime to conform with National Crime Recording Standards.

“Many of these figures include unsubstantiated reports, threats of stabbing and self-harm, and even the slashing of tyres.”

Meanwhile some residents have called for The Venue in Bancroft to be shut down due to anti-social behaviour fears in the wake of the stabbing.

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Two men were asked to leave the bar and went their separate ways after an altercation around midnight – two hours before one of the men was stabbed in Fishponds Road, with police recovering a knife in nearby Bunyan Road.

The late-night bar has been criticised by some locals, with one saying: “No good comes from that place, I’d be happy if it was closed down.”

But owner Stuart Judd, who is also a Pubwatch chairman, said: “I’ve watched the CCTV and I’m happy with the response of the doorman to the incident, and the police have praised our response.

“I would say we are one of the least problematic pubs in the town. Out of the Hitchin venues with late-night licences I would say we have the least amount of trouble.”

Anyone with information about the stabbing or witnessed the earlier confrontation in The Venue is asked to call police on 101.