Policing initiative aims to drive down knife crime in Rugby borough
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A new proactive policing operation has been launched in a bid to tackle knife crime within Rugby borough.
Operation Spigot will see officers patrol hotspot areas, carry out warrants and stop searches based on intelligence as well as supporting force-wide and national initiatives.
Not only will police engage with the local community and encourage them to report individuals carrying a knife, they will also be raising awareness among young people of the dangers of doing so.
In addition, officers will be seeking to educate potential victims, parents, teachers, and the community on knife crime as well as the wider issues it can affect such as drug use and exploitation.
There are a number of signs to suggest someone may be vulnerable to becoming involved in knife crime – helping people to spot these signs and changes in an individual’s behaviour is a key part of the operation.
Operation Spigot is also aiming to target those individuals who may be more susceptible to becoming involved in crime.
While Rugby borough is a safe place to live and work, the initiative has been set up as a result of a number of incidents involving knives – particularly within the town centre – in the past 12 months.
Inspector Sally Bunyard-Spiers from Rugby’s Safer Neighbourhood Teams said: “Operation Spigot is designed to drive down the level of knife crime in Rugby particularly among young people.
“While there are obvious dangers to carrying a knife, often youngsters don’t think of some of the longer term consequences.
“If someone is convicted of carrying a knife it can have a profound impact on their future by preventing them from getting certain jobs, going to university or even travelling abroad.
“Above all else, if they use the knife, someone could end up seriously hurt or worse, and in recent years we have seen the tragic consequences of when someone chooses to carry a knife in Rugby.”
Inspector Bunyard-Spiers added: “Knife crime affects the whole community – not only does it raise fear of crime, but if people see others carrying knives they think they should do the same, which increases the number of knives on the streets. We want to reduce that number.
“There is a preconception that knife crime is associated solely with gangs and while that can sometimes be the case, often innocent bystanders can get caught in the middle of other people’s disputes.
“If someone is caught either carrying a knife or using one, we will strive to carry out a thorough investigation and where possible, ensure they are brought to justice and face the punishment that befits their crime.
“We want to reassure the community we are doing everything we can to ensure people are aware of the risks of carrying a knife. We are also keen to educate people about the dangers of knife crime and other associated issues such as drug use, exploitation and vulnerability.
“We all have a duty to keep our communities safe and we’re asking everyone to play their part in our ongoing bid to drive down the level of knife crime within the borough.
“If you see someone carrying a knife or acting suspiciously, please get in touch. A single call could save someone’s life.”
Anyone who has information about knife crime can contact the police online, by calling 101 or via Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.