A week of action to raise awareness of knife crime has been launched by West Yorkshire Police and is being supported by the West Yorkshire Police & Crime Commissioner (PCC)
The awareness week, which is part of a national week of action, will run all week from today (Monday 11 March) until Sunday March 17.
The Force and PCC have previously spoken out about tackling knife crime and the importance of talking to young people in particular about the potential consequences of it and the dangers of carrying a knife.
During the week of action a range of educational and enforcement activity will be taking place.
In Calderdale a knife crime package will be delivered across schools, extra patrols will bout at night, stalls delivering knife crime awareness and early intervention work to specifically target young people at risk of getting involved in knife crime will be given by officers.
Assistant Chief Constable Catherine Hankinson of West Yorkshire Police, said: “We are very concerned about knife crime – it can cause great harm to the communities we serve and there is no place for it in our society.
“It is something we take extremely seriously. Every single person who works for this Force has a part to play in preventing it from happening and dealing with it when it does.
“Like in other areas of the country knife crime has increased recently in West Yorkshire but the most recent statistics show a slight fall.*
“We are absolutely committed to tackling all knife crime and initiatives like this week of action are very important for us to help to get the important message out there that carrying a knife is never the answer.
“No-one wants to see their loved ones caught up in the terrible consequences of knife crime.
“As an officer with many years’ experience I have had to comfort the grieving families of victims and arrest those responsible for it. Knife crime has impacted terribly on them.”
During previous weapons surrenders knives and other weapons have been handed in to police so they can now never find their way onto the streets of West Yorkshire.
The week of action is meant to support that ongoing work and help to spread the key message that carrying a knife is never the answer.
Mark Burns-Williamson, West Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) said: "We all know the devastating consequences that can result from carrying or misusing knives.
“It is ultimately only through early intervention and prevention work that we will be able to most effectively deal with the scourge of knife and violent crime in our communities and this is why I wholeheartedly support this very timely week of action to raise awareness of the dangers.
“This is an issue that can often blight our communities, and results on too many occasions in the tragic loss of life and all the consequences that follow for victims, families and offenders. The police and partner organisations are doing an extremely important job in protecting our communities and carrying out awareness raising, education and intervention work to ensure that people know and understand that carrying a knife is never the answer.”
In the run up to the week, cadet volunteers (aged under 18) supervised by officers are visiting shops which sell knives to see if they would sell them**
This work will also take place during the week of action and officers will follow this up with visits to any stores which fail to educate them about their responsibilities under the law and warn them about their future conduct.
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