Police promise more officers for stabbing hotspots as week long knife crime campaign continues
South Yorkshire Police have promised additional resources will be deployed to the Sheffield neighbourhoods which last week saw a resurgence in knife crime.
Four stabbings took place in the city in the space of 48 hours last week, with incidents in Meadowhead, Spital Hill, the city centre and Shiregreen.
Police said their response to the incidents would be ‘robust’, but insisted the key to tackling knife crime over the long term was increased engagement with the communities most affected.
DCI Paul Murphy, the force’s lead officer for Operation Sceptre - a week long national anti-knife crime drive which begins this week - said the message was as much about education as it was about enforcement.
He said: “Police can only be part of the solution around this issue. To solve it we have to stop young people thinking it is acceptable to pick up a knife.
“You are three times more likely to be a victim of knife crime if you carry one. As a society we need to make it unacceptable to do.”
DCI Murphy said that the force would be deploying additional staff to the areas that had seen knife crime last week, and that the investigations into all four stabbings had already yielded arrests.
However, he stressed the recent incidents were not representative of an overall picture that showed Sheffield bucking the trend of rising knife crime across the country.
He said: “The reality is that knife crime is currently a national issue but South Yorkshire Police are not seeing the rise that we have seen in other areas.
“We are proud of the strategy we have put in place and we believe it is getting results.”
Operation Sceptre in South Yorkshire will see increased public engagement around knife crime as well as ground searches and intelligence led stop and search operations.
However, DCI Murphy said a more widespread rollout of stop and search powers in the wake of last week’s incidents was unlikely.
He said: “Stop and search is a legitimate policing tactic that can yield results in the short term but what we need is support from the community.
“I would like to urge the public to come forward to tell us about people who are carrying knives and we will take action against them.”
Knife crime can be reported direct to South Yorkshire Police on the non-emergency 101 number or via Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.