Knife crime can destroy lives and fracture communities. It disproportionately blights the lives of the young and disadvantaged. After decreasing in the early 2010s, it has risen in recent years. Tackling it must be one of policing’s top priorities.
The College has produced this guide to support forces in tackling this complex type of crime, equipping officers in all forces with good practice from across the UK and beyond. While there are no simple answers, we have provided a practical toolkit of tactics forces can use, depending on what the data shows in their area, such as interventions in schools, weapon sweeps and focused deterrence.
By setting out the strengths and limitations of each type of action, how they work and where they work best, the guide provides what is needed to help tailor a response to local problems. It builds on our Knife crime evidence briefing, published in April 2019, which set out in more general terms the broad approaches that are effective in tackling knife crime.
Using our expertise as the What Works Centre for Crime Reduction, the content in this guide is grounded in the best available evidence of what is effective in fighting crime. The guide has a strong focus on using data to understand problems, design responses, measure effectiveness and drive improvement.
Different approaches will work in different places. By using data effectively, we can truly understand all the dimensions of the local problem and deliver a response that saves lives, protects communities and builds public confidence.
By using this toolkit, officers responding to knife crime, as well as supervisors and senior leaders, should be confident to tackle the problems in their community, knowing that they are using interventions that work.