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Knife crime rising in Norfolk - but remains rare

PUBLISHED: 10:53 23 June 2018 | UPDATED: 12:26 23 June 2018

A knife seized by Norfolk Police. Picture: Norfolk Constabulary

A knife seized by Norfolk Police. Picture: Norfolk Constabulary

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Knife crime is rising in Norfolk but remains rare according to the most recent figures.

A knife seized by Norfolk Police. Picture: Norwich PoliceA knife seized by Norfolk Police. Picture: Norwich Police

The latest police figures reveal a threefold increase in offences involving knives committed in Norfolk.

In April when the Home Office published its Serious Violence Strategy, statistics showed offences involving knives in the county has tripled since 2013.

But police reiterated at the time that the rate of knife crime is “still low in comparison to other areas of the UK”.

The issue has become a national focus after a spike in violent crime in the capital, and courts will now hand out mandatory six months jail terms for those caught carrying knives on more than one occasion.

A knife seized as part of Operation Gravity. Picture: Norfolk ConstabularyA knife seized as part of Operation Gravity. Picture: Norfolk Constabulary

Incidents of knife violence in Norwich are still rare, but are becoming more common.

Norfolk Constabulary recorded 269 crimes in which knives were used between October 2016 and September 2017, an increase of 186pc on the same period in 2012-13.

This week a 21-year-old man was jailed for 15 years for two “totally unprovoked” attacks on teenagers in the city.

Kurt Nelson was convicted of wounding 15-year-old Adam Wright and 18-year-old university fresher Jamie Atkinson after attacking them for no reason.

Judge Anthony Bate jailed him on Thursday, calling him a “very dangerous man”.

The murder of Steve Stannard in November 2016 alongside a spate of violent incidents across the county sparked a critical incident for Norfolk Constabulary and the launch of Operation Gravity, which has seen more than 650 arrests of suspected drug dealers.

In a speech announcing the government’s Serious Violence Strategy, home secretary Amber Rudd announced measures including restrictions to be placed on the online sale of knives, and a complete ban on certain weapons, including zombie knives.

Deputy Chief Constable Nick Dean said in response to the figures at the time: “Norfolk Police takes any crimes involving knives, whether that be possession or violence, extremely seriously.

“Whilst knife crime has increased in the county, as has been seen nationally, it is still low in comparison to other areas of the UK.

“Norfolk has less than one crime per 1000 head of population in relation to possession of weapons, which demonstrates how safe the county is and should reassure the public how seriously we take this issue.”

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