'I can't see it getting any better' - father of stabbed teen's fears for future
PUBLISHED: 12:09 27 April 2019 | UPDATED: 12:09 27 April 2019
The father of a 16-year-old boy who was stabbed in the back by a gang in a Norwich street attack has said he cannot see an end to the scourge of knife crime.
His teenage son suffered stab wounds to his head and back during a gang attack in Mountbatten Drive, Old Catton, at the end of March.
He has spoken out over his fears after latest crime figures released by the Office for National Statistics revealed a significant rise in knife crime in the county in the last seven years.
Police recorded 286 offences which involved a knife and sharp object between January and December last year, a threefold increase compared to 2012 when it was just 97.
But the statistics also show that between April 2017 and March 2018 police in Norfolk recorded 220 offences involving a knife compared to just 77 over the same period between April 2013 and March 2014.
That represents a 185pc increase in knife crime offences in the county over six years.
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The 36-year-old, who wants to remain anonymous, said: “It's terrible what's happening. The kids nowadays it just seems that everyone is carrying a knife.
“If no-one carried one you would have no need for it. The scary thing is that these kids are prepared to use them.
“I just can't see it getting any better. I can't see a stop to it personally, I really can't. I can't see how they're going to stop it.”
But the 220 offences recorded by Norfolk Police between April 2017 and March 2018 are almost 100 less that the 318 knife offences recorded the year before, which coincided with the launch of Norfolk Police's Operation Gravity crackdown.
The initiative was set up in December 2016 following deaths connected to the drugs trade and has been focussed on disrupting and preventing County Lines drug dealing in towns and villages across the county.
Despite the wider rise, police chiefs insist Norfolk remains one of the safest counties in the country.
Deputy chief constable Paul Sanford said: “We acknowledge there has been a rise in violent crime, robbery, sexual offences and possession of offensive weapons which in part is down to genuine increases in crime. It is also the case that improvements in the accuracy of crime recording have contributed to this rise, along with a growing confidence in victims to come forward and report crime.”