Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner says cause of recent knife crime is being addressed

Katy Bourne: Photo by Andrew Parsons, i-Images Picture Agency

After a sequence of stabbings recorded across Sussex in recent days, Sussex’s Police and Crime Commissioner has told More Radio it’s important the county’s police service does not become complacent.

Katy Bourne made her comments as investigations continued into knife crimes recently recorded in Worthing, Eastbourne and Crawley last week.

A pair of 16-year-old’s were stabbed in Worthing last Tuesday (October, 1), after which a 13-year-old and 14-year-old were arrested.

An 18-year-old then suffered a stabbing in Eastbourne on Thursday (October, 3), and a 25-year-old man was left with six stab wounds in Crawley on Friday (October, 4).

The Commissioner gave details behind data that Sussex Police reported to the Home Office, showing an increase in reported knife crime in the county in the year ending March 2019.

Ms Bourne said:

“In Sussex, crimes involving a knife have risen by five per cent, against a rise nationally of six per cent, based on data submitted to the Home Office between March 2018 and March 2019.

“It does not reflect an outright rise in numbers of knife crimes but an improvement in the methodology of recording knife crimes.

“Although knife crime in Sussex remains low, there have been a number of recent, quite disturbing incidents, so it is important that Sussex Police are not complacent.

“I know they will continue to engage with members of the public, particularly young people, about the dangers and consequences of carrying knives, as well as continuing to work on disrupting knife-related criminal activity.”

On the subject of action to be taken by Sussex Police, the commissioner added:

“Tragically there have been recent incidents involving knives across Sussex, a number of which have involved teenagers.

“I am aware of the concern within our communities surrounding serious violence involving and affecting young people.

“I can assure the public that Sussex Police teams are investigating each incident and are working hard with partners to address the root causes of this behaviour and reduce the level of violence.”

She said over £4m recently secured by Sussex Police and its partners would go to address youth crime, exploitation, and knife crime.

Part of the funding was used, she continued, for the “Reboot” programme, reaching over 400 young people who may be at risk of violent criminal behaviour.

Ms Bourne added:

“This approach is clearly working because it empowers the young person to make better decisions, and educates them on topical issues such as criminal exploitation and knife crime.”