06 January 2020

Knife crime briefing

We have published a rounded picture of knife crime for policing.

‚ÄčThis briefing may usefully inform decisions about approaches to tackling knife crime following the increasing number of these types of offences over the last few months.

All police forces in England and Wales have initiatives to tackle knife crime and this briefing can be used to:

  1. Make informed decisions on where resources or funding may be of most benefit to tackle the issue
  2. Evaluate existing activity against the briefing to understand what approach has the greatest potential to reduce crime
  3. Develop broad multi-agency strategies aimed at prevention and early intervention.

It concludes:

Knife crime perpetrators and victims are most likely to be males in late adolescence. Risk factors for serious violence and weapon carrying include adverse childhood experiences and poor educational attainment. Ethnicity has been found to have no significant effect on weapon carrying in the UK.

The most successful approaches to reducing violence include well-implemented problem-solving and focused deterrence strategies, such as the US-based 'pulling levers', which aim to address the root causes of violence. Public health approaches, involving multiple agencies to develop a range of interventions, including prevention work for at-risk groups, as well as law enforcement activity directed at offenders, have been shown to have a positive impact.

You can read the full briefing on the What Works Centre for Crime Reduction website.

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