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Sceptre: week of action on knife crime

This week (13 – 19 May) is the National Knife Crime Intensification Week – known as Sceptre – a week of activity across all Police Forces to amplify and showcase the work being done across the country to drive down knife crime.

Essex continues to see a 7% reduction in knife enabled reported offences (year on year) – that equates to 112 fewer victims – but we know there is still more to be done and one knife crime is one too many.

Essex Police will be undertaking various activity such as knife arches and open gate deployments, challenge 25 knife purchase operations, increased foot patrols and presentations to schools and colleges to raise awareness of the dangers of carrying a knife.

VVU Activity

The VVU are supporting Essex Police activity through targeted work with the interventions and projects we run and fund, including meeting with the individuals we support through ReRoute who have been involved in knife crime or carrying a knife.

Sadly, we know that within Essex the highest single proportion of knife crime victims are males aged 10-19, while knife crime suspects are 88% male and more than half are aged 10-19.

This is why our work with young people is so important. By ensuring there are targeted interventions in place, supportive and trusted adults to talk to; safe places to visit and hang out that offer positive alternatives to antisocial behaviour and violence; and education and support available for those that need help, we can work with our partners to drive down knife crime.

Project work

With this in mind projects that we fund through our community grant fund, or secondary prevention fund have organised specific events to ensure the dangers of knife crime and its severity are discussed with their young people this week.

At Achieve Thrive Flourish (ATF) 100 young people from schools in Southend will discuss the consequences of carrying a knife, while hearing from peers who have been both victims and perpetrators of knife crime.

At Rainbow Services in Harlow young people will be taking part in sessions that discuss carrying knives, knife crime and associated consequences.

24 young people from Colchester and Southend on the Essex Boys and Girls Clubs Respect Course are currently on residentials in the Brecon Beacons and Lake District, while they are away they will participate in talks on knives, the dangers, the penalties for carrying and wider implications of knife crime on communities.

We are grateful for the work all our funded projects do to support young people, helping them build happier safer lives, and stronger, safer communities.