Police lighting up our towns to launch knife crime campaign across Northamptonshire

Novel approach to delivering powerful message on dangers of carrying weapons

Friday, 1st October 2021, 4:01 pm

Northamptonshire Police today kicks-off a three-month campaign aimed at tackling knife crime following a spate of stabbings in the county.

Landmarks in Northampton, Wellingborough, Kettering and Corby will be lit up on Friday night (October 1) with powerful messages encouraging people to think about the consequences of carrying weapons.

Superintendent Adam Ward, Northamptonshire Police lead on knife crime, said: "There are always going to be groups of individuals who choose to carry knives for whatever reason. But there are also individuals who think they need to carry them to be safe.

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Tributes left at the spot where teenager Dylan Holliday died in August

"In a lot of circumstances they are put in situations where they are forced to use a weapon or have it turned on themselves. Either way it can be disastrous.

"We want to change the way people, especially younger people, think about it."

Buildings in four town centres will be illuminated throughout the evening as part of the 'Lighting Up' campaign, starting with All Saints Church in Northampton.

Creative Cupcakes in Cambridge Street, Wellingborough, Cash Converters in Kettering town centre and Primark in Corby's Willow Place will also be illuminated.

Supt Adam Ward is leading Northamptonshire Police fight against knife crime

Supt Ward added: "It's a novel approach to try and get some strong messages out there and challenge some of the misconceptions about knife crime and carrying.

"We hope that people take notice of this at the start of three months of really intensive activity the Force is doing to tackle knife crime."

Police use stop and search powers as a major tool in combating knife crime.

Supt Ward said: "We're doing more stop and searches in relation to knives and the results of those are more so we're taking more knives off the streets.

"It only works if we're targeting the right people. And we know we're doing that because the percentage of times we're recovering knives and offensive weapons has gone up in relation to those stops.

"We're not stopping people in masses and creating the wrong message, spreading fear etc. We need to be intelligence-led targeting the right people and I'm confident we're doing that.

Teenager Dylan Holliday died after being stabbed on Wellingborough's Queensway estate on August 6 while another 16-year-old was left with serious injuries following an attack in Northampton's town centre on September 16.

Two more men and a 15-year-old boy were also injured in incidents in Northampton in a few days following the Abington Street incident.

In Corby, a 17-year-old boy was knifed in the Kingswood estate on September 17.

Seven teenagers have so far appeared in court after being charged in connection with the incidents.