Sheffield is one of 52 areas across the UK to receive a share of more than £5 million pledged to tackle knife crime and serious youth violence from April 2010.
The Tackling Knives and Serious Youth Violence Action Programme (TKAP) is extended for another year, Home Office Minister David Hanson MP announced yesterday.
The third phase of the programme will build on previous successes in reducing serious violence and will operate in 52 areas, which have voluntarily signed up, to undertake targeted action to reduce serious youth violence among 13 to 24 year olds.
The funding will support tough enforcement alongside education and prevention programmes and build on the work of TKAP so far, which includes:
- an increase in stops and searches including extra mobile knife scanners – combined with a national move to a presumption of prosecution for knife possession and a significant fall in the use of cautions;
- nights of intensive enforcement and prevention action – resulting in over 600 arrests, discovery of three cannabis farms, seizure of a shotgun and 22 knives in the past two months alone;
- improved information sharing – more than 100 hospitals sharing data with police on knife and serious youth violence-related admissions, helping them to target local problems;
- the roll-out of the knife crime prevention programme – an education programme for all young offenders convicted of a knife related crime which is on track to reach 2,000 young offenders; and
- prevention work – education sessions for more than 200,000 young people to make them aware of the dangers of knives, and a public information campaign worked on by young people themselves.
Recent police use of a “knife arch” (walk-through metal detector) in Hillsborough found no one carrying knifes. Nationally, recorded knife crime fell by seven per cent from April to September 2009 compared with the same period the previous year, including a 34 per cent decrease in murder with a knife.