Sussex Police continues to tackle knife crime and serious violence after securing £514,500 funding from the Home Office for 2021/2022.
The funds will see the force build on the positive results seen last year through targeted activities such as our knife crime awareness campaign, hotspot patrols, weapon sweeps as well as educational outreach in schools and local communities.
Sussex sees a relatively low number of knife-related incidents, with 71 knife offences in the year to September 2020 per 100,000 people. This compares to the England and Wales average of 79 offences per 100,000 population. In the last year to March 31 2021, knife crime has decreased by 23% across Sussex, with the largest decreases seen in robbery with a 37.2% decrease in knife enabled offences.
Chief Inspector Simon Yates said: "Far too many lives have been affected by knife crime and our priority is to make Sussex a safer place to be. We are determined to get knives off our streets and reduce violent crime.
"Our combined approach of proactive and preventative policing saw fantastic results last year and our plan is to build on that success by continuing to engage with our local communities and carry out targeted operations across the region.
"Our key priority is sending the message that carrying a knife is dangerous and can have serious consequences. We are clear that carrying a knife does not make you safer, it puts you at more risk of becoming a victim and we would encourage anyone with concerns to reach out and seek help."
Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne said: “I’m delighted that Sussex Police have secured further funding to continue to tackle and prevent knife crime across the county.
"It is clear that Chief Constable Shiner remains steadfast in her commitment to taking prolific offenders off our streets and tackling serious violence.
"This funding will also allow officers to continue to take the time to educate our young people of the dangers and life changing consequences of carrying a knife before it’s too late.
"Please remember that all knives can kill and maim and just by carrying one you are putting yourself and others in grave danger. The message is clear – lose the knife not a life."
From April 2020 to April 2021, Sussex Police made 462 arrests as part of surge operations to tackle knife crime, seized 1,312 weapons and engaged with hundreds of young people during school visits, roadshows and community engagement activities.
Throughout 2021/2022 Sussex Police's approach will be to continue to build on this work by engaging with partners, young people, parents and carers and more widely with our local communities to reduce serious violence.
What to do if you’re worried
If you are under 18, you feel threatened, unsafe or scared about becoming a victim of knife crime you should try to talk with your parent or carer, or alternatively talk to Childline for help on 0800 1111 or go online at childline.org.uk.
If you are a parent or carer and you are concerned someone you care for is in danger of becoming a victim of knife crime, try to talk with them in the first instance or seek advice from Family Lives on 0808 800 22 22.
Whether you are a parent or young person you can contact Sussex Police on 101 to speak with your local Prevention Team.
Who do I report knife crime to?
You can report knife crime online or by calling 101. In an emergency always call 999.
To report knife crime anonymously go to https://www.fearless.org/en/give-info