'Reducing knife crime remains a top priority': Top South Yorkshire detective speaks out

A top South Yorkshire detective has spoken out about the fight against knife crime as new figures show a two per cent reduction in offences.

By Claire Lewis
Friday, 24th April 2020, 1:54 pm
Updated Friday, 24th April 2020, 2:34 pm

Figures released by the Office for National Statistics reveal there were 970 crimes involving knives recorded by South Yorkshire Police in 2019, which was a two per cent reduction on the previous year.

Temporary Detective Chief Inspector Jamie Henderson, force lead for knife crime, said: “The impacts of knife crime on communities and families are truly devastating and can have life-changing consequences for everybody involved.

“Here in South Yorkshire we are taking a public health approach to tackling this issue, acknowledging the crucial roles partnership work and education play alongside law enforcement.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Detective Chief Inspector Jamie Henderson.

“It is encouraging to see a reduction in offences involving a knife in these latest figures, however there is more work to be done and tackling and reducing knife crime remains a top priority for South Yorkshire Police and our partners.

“Our Violent Crime Taskforce, which was introduced last year, is working day after day to support neighbourhood and response teams in addressing violent crime in our communities. They are routinely deployed to areas where we know there are issues, carrying out searches, making arrests and ultimately disrupting criminals who are causing misery to local people.

“We also have Operation Fortify teams based in each district. Operation Fortify is our multi-agency approach to tackling and preventing organised crime by bringing offenders to justice, protecting vulnerable people and increasing community resilience to organised crime.

“Our work in local schools is also ongoing - tens of thousands of children in South Yorkshire have been involved in our educational programmes including Guns and Knives Take Lives. We need our young people to understand the consequences of carrying a weapon and the long-term impact.

“Finally, we are asking for local communities to help us tackle this ongoing issue. They can do this by passing on information and telling us who is carrying weapons - before it's too late.”

Call 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously on 0800 555111.