Knife crime campaign "a success"
7 June 2011, 06:03
Heart's been told despite no knives being found during a police campaign in part of the Thames Valley, it has been a success.
Thames Valley Police carried out the five day campaign, called Operation Blade, in Oxford City to stop young people from getting involved in knife-related crime.
Although arrests for possessing a knife in Oxfordshire dropped from 202 in 2008 to 137 in 2010 - police say they want to make sure it doesn't become a bigger problem.
Detective Inspector Simon Morton's in charge of the campaign: "Our overall knife crime has reduced but not by a massive amount. But what's more concerning is the most serious violence has increased and it's increased by about twenty cases, which doesn't sound like a lot, but when they're serious offences then it's really concerning."
DI Morton says they want to warn young people about the dangers of carrying knives, even for protection, after the death of 22-year-old Blayne Ridgeway outside an Oxford nightclub in May last year.
His killer, 16-year-old Eze Eke is now serving a 15 year jail sentence.
As well as getting young people to hear from families affected by knife crime, the city was swamped by a hundred officers on Saturday night.
The stopped and searched 35 people for weapons in East Oxford, Blackbird Leys and the City centre.
Although none were found they did arrest 7 people for drugs related offences and one stall seller for letting an underage teenager buy a knife.
Heart's found out the campaign, which cost the force an extra £1500, is the start of a long-term plan to stop young people carrying blades.