30 arrests and hundreds of patrols in month of enhanced police activity
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Hundreds of targeted patrols, bail order checks and closure order checks have been conducted during four weeks of enhanced proactive policing activity in Swindon following an increase in knife crime.
As a response to an escalation in the number of incidents involving weapons, officers from different teams across the Force have been working together to tackle the issue of violence in the town.
Across the four weeks:
30 arrests were made
144 bails were checked
215 closure orders were checked
322 focused patrols were conducted
80 stop searches were performed
Supt Phil Staynings said: “The month of May has seen an increased policing presence in Swindon in response to the concerning incidents we have seen recently in the town, where knives and other bladed weapons have been seen or used to inflict harm on others.
“This has resulted in people suffering injuries and ultimately we know that this type of activity can lead to tragic consequences for individuals, families and communities.
“These incidents have understandably caused a huge amount of community concern, and as a result staff have been relentless in conducting a range of proactive activities in hotspot areas to address the issues whilst minimising the risk to the public and protecting the most vulnerable.
“It has been a hugely positive month, which has allowed us to build an informed picture of the situation in Swindon and robustly enforce all bail and closure orders with those that cause the greatest harm.
“Thirty people have been arrested for a mix of drugs, weapons and violence offences, whilst others involved in this type of criminal behaviour have been stopped and searched to ensure they weren’t carrying weapons.”
Supt Staynings went on to outline that further activity will continue as the Force looks to combat knife crime and youth and gang related violence in the town.
He continued: “Safer Public Spaces and Tackling Violence remain clear priorities for the Force, outlined by our new Chief Constable, Catherine Roper, and we are continuing to work relentlessly to make Swindon as safe a place to live as possible.
“The public should expect to see this type of proactive activity continue in the coming months.
“Combatting knife crime and youth and gang related violence remains something that can’t be done by the police alone.
“We continue to rely on communities for information, and we are working tirelessly with our partners to create a collaborative, joined up approach to educate the public on the dangers of carrying knives.
“I would urge anyone with any information to please contact us on 999 in an emergency, 101 in a non emergency or via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 where information can be left anonymously.
“Alternatively, information regarding your local policing team can be found on the Wiltshire Police website with details of how to make contact.”
Wiltshire Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Wilkinson welcomed the results from the intensification month.
He said: “Knife crime and gang-related violence is becoming more prevalent in some of our communities and we must do all we can to tackle this issue and work closely with partner agencies to look at the whole issue from early intervention and increased awareness and education, as well as robust enforcement and proactive policing.
“What is clear is that where those pockets of crime exist, residents are rightly worried and together we must do all we can to protect communities, as well as prevent associated crimes from destroying even more families and senselessly ending lives.
“The dedicated, proactive, policing intensification in Swindon has been successful, my thanks to all involved in directly contributing to fulfilling the priorities set for Wiltshire Police and contributing to Making Wiltshire Safer for all.”
Hear from Supt Phil Staynings on what we're doing to combat knife crime in the video below: