Knife crime is a priority says Swindon superintendent following stabbing of teenager
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Tackling knife crime is a priority for us and we are committed to reducing the number of stabbings in our communities.
Although incidents where a knife has been used decreased between June 2021 and June 2022 (down 6%), we’ve seen a 48% rise in the number of crimes where someone has been in possession of a knife during the same period.
In particular, we’ve seen a rise in these incidents in Swindon town centre and we know this is causing significant concern within our Swindon communities.
On Saturday (28/10), a 14-year-old boy was stabbed close to the Link Centre in Swindon and he remains in a serious condition in hospital. Following our enquiries, we have arrested three teenagers in connection with this incident.
Swindon commander Superintendent Phil Staynings said: “We are acutely aware of the impact these crimes have on our communities and the ages of those involved are shocking.
“We are utilising every available resource within our organisation to tackle this issue – including our community officers, dedicated proactive staff and colleagues within our firearms unit.
“We are also fully engaged with our partners – including Swindon Borough Council to develop our approach to early intervention and dissuade children from criminality.
“We’ve made use of criminal and civil orders to manage threat and risk - we have successfully applied for closure orders, injunctions and criminal behaviour orders and these have had huge impact in reducing threat and risk locally.
“But, it is clear that we need to do more to combat this issue.”
One option considered each time there is a stabbing, is the use of a Section 60 order. A Section 60 allows police officers to stop and search people even if they don't have suspicions about them.
A Section 60 order can be put in place for up to 24 hours (but can be extended for a further 24hrs) and is limited to a specific area or group of streets. You can read more about Section 60 orders here.
Supt Staynings said: “My officers will use every tactic available to them to reduce the number of stabbings on our streets but we cannot do this alone. My staff are fully committed in bringing those that perpetrate such crimes to justice, however alongside the work of my staff, we need intelligence and information from our communities to build up an accurate picture in order that we can tackle these issues effectively. We need communities to pull together and support the police in giving evidence for those who perpetrate such crimes.
“I would urge anyone with any information to contact us on 999 or via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 where information can be left anonymously.”