Police warning after data reveals sharp rise in reported knife crime in Suffolk
PUBLISHED: 06:00 19 April 2018 | UPDATED: 17:07 19 April 2018
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There is no excuse to carry a knife in Suffolk - and doing so can have devastating consequences.
That’s the hard-hitting warning from a high-ranking police chief as it’s revealed there were 404 reports of knife crime reported in the last 13 months.
Statistics from Suffolk Constabulary show the 404 reported incidents involved weapons such as knives, axes, blades, swords and machetes were logged from March 1, 2017, to March 31, 2018.
Previous figures for the period from March 1, 2016, to March 1, 2017, showed there were 300 recorded incidents involving knives reported to the police.
Now southern area commander Superintendent Kerry Cutler has responded to the rise – warning that anyone found illegally in possession of a knife will be punished.
“There is no excuse to carry a knife in Suffolk,” she said.
“Knife crime can have devastating consequences and if you are found illegally in possession of a knife you will be arrested, put before the court and brought to justice.
“We take positive action to try and prevent offences by removing knives and offensive weapons before any harm is caused.
“Carrying knives does not keep you safe – quite the opposite.
“One of the main motivating factors reported for young people carrying a knife is because they feel threatened, but by carrying one you are more putting yourself in much greater danger and likely to become a victim and get injured yourself.”
The figures will also include crimes that have taken place in private – and include domestic violence cases, she added.
Suffolk’s crime commissioner Tim Passmore said there are often instances where young people carry knives because they think it keeps them safe.
“Over four years there is an increase in reported incidents of about 20%,” he said.
“That is of course a serious cause for concern in Suffolk, there is no question about that.
“Carrying a knife doesn’t keep you safe – in some ways it can actually increase the number of instances of retaliation.
“We need to understand exactly what it is that makes them feel safe.
“Knife crime does have its roots in gangs and youth violence, county lines drug trade.
He added: “Knife crime can have tragic consequences for victims and families involved.
“We need to redouble our efforts to crack down on this.”
Last year this newspaper launched a campaign after a series of reported stabbings and knife attacks, calling for action to be taken.