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Wiltshire Police Federation

Trowbridge tops the table for knife attacks

9 May 2019

Wiltshire Times

FIGURES have revealed that nearly half of knife crime victims in West Wiltshire over the past two years were attacked in Trowbridge.

A freedom of information request has revealed that 90 of 188 knife crimes in West Wiltshire were committed in the town.

The age of people arrested for knife crimes range from 10 to 67, with more 16-year-olds and 29-year-olds being arrested than any other age groups.

Teenagers and people in their mid-20s are also the most common victims of knife crime.

Since the death of Jordan Taylor in 2017 police have been working to stop knives being carried on the streets, and schools and youth workers are now educating young people on the risks of knife crime.

Zoe Meaden of Trowbridge Community Area Future, a charity that supports vulnerable people and runs youth service throughout the town, said: “Teenagers are feeling nervous, some don’t want to leave the house especially because of this knife fear. That’s why we run youth services to try and give them another focus.”

Trowbridge mayor councillor Dennis Drewett said: “These are concerning figures, but we have had assurance from our local inspector that these are individual items and there are no identifiable trends.

“I would like members of the public to not be overly concerned, unfortunately these figures don’t just reflect our town locally, but it is a national problem.

“The best place to start reducing these figures is with education and in schools where young people can be taught about the dangers and implications.”

Clarendon Academy headteacher Rob Price said: “I am pleased to say We have been working with other schools to hold assemblies with members of the police force. The police at all and they do a great job in our community. We have also added knife crime awareness into our PSHE curriculum and involved it in our teaching. With several schools being in the town it is best that we work in harmony to educate the children on this topic which is prominent in Trowbridge.”

Community co-ordinator PC Charly Chilton said: “Knife crime specifically is a huge problem facing all police forces nationally, but in Wiltshire, we have actually seen an 18 per cent drop in knife crime across the county in the past year, however, these statistics are not a reason to be complacent.“Incidents of knife crime remain rare in our county, but it’s really important to stress that when incidents of this nature do sadly happen, the impact on the victims, their families, friends and the wider community can be devastating. I understand that recent incidents in Trowbridge, including the stabbing at the Tesco car park, will have undoubtedly caused alarm. I’d like to reassure residents that We continue to work closely with local schools and the youth offending team to provide crime prevention advice and raise awareness about the dangers of carrying knives. We continue to work hard to engage with our communities and take all reports of this nature extremely seriously to ensure offenders are brought to justice.”

Laura Mayes, cabinet member for children’s services said: “The Youth Offending Team is a multi-agency team which focuses on reducing the risks young people may present through offending and are committed to prevent young people’s behaviour escalating.

“They work in partnership with the police and Wiltshire Council, to reduce risks both to and from young people, and guide them to be positive members of the community.

“We run a junior attendance centre, a six-week programme tailored to reducing re-offending, Go Girls, a programme delivered in local schools to improve self-esteem and reduce risks, and a programme delivered to all young people to reduce knife crime.

“We also run individual reparation sessions to enable young people to give something back to the community and have a strong restorative justice approach, working directly with victims to repair the harm.”