Every life lost to knife crime is a tragedy, not just for the individuals and family, but for society as a whole. We have all collectively failed if young people feel it is acceptable, or necessary, to carry a knife.
The Police & Crime Commissioner's Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) is working hard on both police enforcement, diversion and prevention to tackle this problem. Knife crime is down by 11% in Thames Valley over the last year but there is still much work to do.
New powers are being proposed by the Government to target persistent offenders, and I am pleased that Thames Valley has been identified as a pilot force to trial these measures. https://www.matthewbarber.co.uk/news/thames-valley-police-pilot-new-pow…
The work of the VRU is supported by additional Home Office funding (https://www.matthewbarber.co.uk/news/ps735000-funding-boost-tackle-seri…) but the strategy is to establish this model as "business as usual".
In addition to enforcement action by the police the VRU is also developing programmes to divert people away from crime (https://www.matthewbarber.co.uk/news/thames-valley-vru-host-virtual-vis…).
Tackling knife crime is as much about about changing attitudes as making arrests and I will focus on both if elected as Police & Crime Commissioner.