Knife crime amongst young people is on the increase and although this is an alarming statistic for many of us, there is hope.
On the 21st September I was invited by Jamie Gotheridge, Response Officer with Staffordshire Police, to the launch of a knife crime initiative here in Stafford town centre. The campaign aimed to raise awareness of the importance of talking to young people about the dangers of carrying a knife, as well as being there to listen to their concerns. The Staffordshire Cadets were there to hand out informative leaflets to the public and a ‘mobile’ police station offered education and crime prevention advice. Teresa Brazil, one of the cadet leaders, spoke about the importance of the cadet’s attendance at such events due to their ability to relate and communicate effectively. One of my own cadets, Sapphire, who has recently been named Cadet of the Year, was also there to support the campaign.
Lichfield BID worked alongside the cadets, visiting local businesses and introducing them to Bleed Control Kits, which contain all the basics needed to tend to a victim of knife crime. Lichfield BID wanted to encourage as many businesses as possible to purchase these kits – one of which could help to save a life.
Raising awareness of, and helping to reduce, knife crime is my number priority as High Sheriff of Staffordshire, and it is heartening to see initiatives such as this being organised. It was received extremely positively by both the public and businesses alike and it gives me great hope for a brighter future.