Knife crime on the rise in South Yorkshire
Knife crime has risen by almost 50 per cent in South Yorkshire last year - with 322 stabbings, slashings and puncture wounds reported.
Between April 2016 and March 2017, there were 1,176 offences reported compared to 807 the year before.
Offences in Sheffield went up by 41 per cent, with 557 reported.
There were 277 knife crimes in Doncaster - up 47 per cent; 186 in Rotherham - up 52 per cent and 156 in Barnsley - up 51 per cent.
Of all the knife crime incidents reported last year, 461 - 36 per cent of the total - were for possession; 386 - 33 per cent of the total - involved knives being used to threaten victims and
322 were attacks in which victims were stabbed, slashed or cut - 27 per cent of the overall total.
Police chiefs launched a knife amnesty in South Yorkshire today in a bid to rid the streets of deadly weapons in the wake of a spate of serious stabbings.
They want blades to be handed in between now and the end of July to prevent them falling into the wrong hands and being used in crimes.
They are warning those who carry knives that possession alone runs the risk of a four-year jail term.
And they are urging friends and relatives of those who carry weapons for 'protection or status' to dispose of them to help save lives.
Detective Superintendent Una Jennings, South Yorkshire Police's lead officer for armed criminality, said: “The aim of this campaign is to raise awareness of the grave and serious consequences that carrying a knife can have, whether it’s carried for protection or status, the fact remains you have a lethal and dangerous weapon in your possession.
“Do you carry a knife, or does someone close to you carry one? Please consider the life changing impact it could have on yourself or on your loved one, and take the opportunity to safely dispose of the weapon during our surrender.
“I would also urge anyone who may be in possession of knives or bladed weapons, such as daggers, swords, axes, that may have been passed down as family heirlooms and are no longer wanted, to please also make use of the surrender and hand them in, to prevent them from falling into the wrong hands and being used in criminality.”
The amnesty forms part of a wider operation aimed at tackling knife crime in Sheffield, where there have been a number of stabbings over recent weeks.
Officers have been focusing on Burngreave, Spital Hill and Pitsmoor for the last two weeks, where a feud between rival Somali and Kurdish gangs has seen violence flare.
In two attacks within 48 hours of each other, a 33-year-old man was shot and a 17-year-old boy was stabbed.
Officers have made 12 arrests - four for carrying weapons and eight for drug offences,
Det Supt Jennings added: “Operations have already begun in the night-time economy in an attempt to minimise and reduce any risk of violent crime involving a knife or bladed weapon, with knife arches present at certain venues and an increased police presence to deal with any issues should they arise, as well as test purchase operations in bars and shops.
“We want to demonstrate and offer assurance to the public that we do not and will not tolerate knife crime, and I hope this campaign and wide range of activities and operations that will continue throughout the summer, highlights our commitment to tackle criminality and keep our county safe.”
Knives can be handed in at Snig Hill police station in Sheffield, College Road station in Doncaster, Churchfield station in Barnsley and Main Street station in Rotherham.
KNIFE CRIME IN SHEFFIELD:
Investigations have been launched into a series of knife attacks in Sheffield over recent months, including one in which a man was killed.
Jordan Hill, aged 21 young dad, was knifed to death in an attack in a flat in Southey Avenue, Longley, in March.
Bradley Vincent Onfroy, 31 and Josie Nicola Hollis, 24, both of no fixed abode, have both been charged with murder.
A number of other men have been left seriously injured and fighting for life in attacks, including a 32-year-old knifed in Lopham Street, Burngreave, last month.
Police officers on patrol found the injured man and launched an investigation into the stabbing after being alerted by a member of the public
A 27-year-old man was critically injured in a stabbing in Hastilar Road South, Woodthorpe, in broad daylight in May.
And two men, aged 24 and 37, were critically injured in a knife attack on The Wicker, Sheffield city centre, earlier this month.
Detectives have ruled out a link with a gang-related stabbing and shooting in nearby Spital Hill a few days earlier.
Last month a 33-year-old man was knifed in his neck and a 21-year-old was shot in his leg in an incident in the Wensley Street area of Fir Vale.
The stabbing victim was seriously injured in the attack, which was carried out in the middle of the night.
Last month a man was hospitalised after he was stabbed in his chest during a fight near a Sheffield pub.
The 29-year-old was attacked close to the Bagshaw Arms in Norton Avenue, Norton.
And a 45-year-old man was knifed in his chest in an attack in Gresley Road, Lowedges, this month.
Anyone with information about any of the attacks should call South Yorkshire Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.