West Mercia Police working hard to stop youngsters bringing weapons into schools, say chiefs
Police chiefs in West Mercia say they are working hard to tackle the problem of youngsters bringing weapons into school.s
But John Campion, police and crime commissioner for West Mercia, said it was also a wider societal problem, and not solely a matter for police.
Mr Campion said since he was elected in 2016 he had invested in a number of projects involving schools.
These included actions to prevent crime, and also activities to distract youngsters from being dragged in to criminal behaviour.
"This includes funding mentors for children on the edge of offending, through to supporting anti-knife crime talks from former gang members," he said.
"While West Mercia still has comparatively low levels of knife crime, I am committed to playing my part in tackling the issue. This is something our whole society has a role to play in however, not just our police."
Chief Superintendent Tom Harding said the West Mercia force area was one of the safest in the country, and knife crime was relatively low.
"However, one stabbing is one too many and it is important we carry out work to prevent it from happening in the first place. We know if someone carries a knife they are more likely to be stabbed which is why we need to stop young people from carrying knives."
Mr Harding said the force launched new strategy last month called Calling Time on Knife Crime, which involved working with local authorities, health and education services to identify and support those on the periphery of knife crime.
“Making sure we get to the root cause of why someone may consider carrying a knife, in particular young people, is crucial, if we can understand why we can make sure they have support they need, whether that be from ourselves or another agency, to encourage them to take a different direction," he said.
“If anyone has any concerns a child they know carries or is considering a knife we would ask them to let us know. It is not about getting them in trouble but making sure we intervene at an early stage and ensure they have support.”
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