Harrogate - 7 April 2020
Harrogate - 7 April 2020

North Yorkshire Police on knife crime in the county

3 April 2023

On 17 February 2023, we put a number of questions to North Yorkshire Police, and the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire, Zoe Metcalfe.

I know North Yorkshire focuses resources around policing priorities, and those priorities are changing all the time.

  1. Please could you give me a brief update around knife crime ?
  2. This was a priority a few years ago, particularly in relation to county lines work, and involved engagement work with young people.
  3. Is this work still ongoing, how can I best find out what is happening ?

The Police, Fire, and Crime Commissioner has not responded, but North Yorkshire Police have now responded, after being chased for a response.

North Yorkshire Police spokesperson said:

The prevention of knife crime is always a priority for North Yorkshire Police and the force are actively involved in a number of different initiatives to educate the public, particularly vulnerable young people on the dangers and consequences of knife crime.

Our early intervention and diversion programme, Operation Divan works with children who have been identified as vulnerable to carrying knives or being involved with knife crime. By working with our partners in education and social care and the child’s family, interventions are carried out to educate the child in the deadly consequences of carrying a knife and positive support is put in place to help the child choose a different path.

The force regularly takes part in the national Operation Sceptre knife amnesty campaign, where knife amnesty bins are placed at police stations around the region, so members of the public can safely dispose of any unwanted knives, preventing them from getting into the wrong hands. A permanent knife amnesty bin is now in place in Harrogate.

Tackling the cause of knife crime is complex and the police cannot do it alone. It’s essential that we work alongside our local authority partners, health and social care partners and schools in the region to reach young people. The ‘No more knives’ campaign is a great example of partnership working in practice. Award-winning comic book author Christina Gabbitas was commissioned to find an engaging way of educating year 6 school children about the dangers of county lines, grooming, drugs and knife crime. Working with local policing teams, Christina has visited a number of local schools in the region and delivered several interactive and fun sessions, educating children about the risks.

We’re also looking to new technology to help us with the detection and prevention of knife crime within the night time economy. Officers in York recently took part in Operation Search where a metal detecting wand was used at a number of pubs and clubs in the city to search customers before they entered the premises. The operation, which was supported by the City of York Council and a number of licensed premises, carried out hundreds of searches and was pleased to find no weapons. Similar operations are planned for other venues in the region.

Anyone with information on knife crime in their local community can make a report to police on 101 or pass information to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. In an emergency, always dial 999.

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