Wellingborough knife crime community coalition founder says 'everyone has a role' in Off The Streets NN
The group will host another community meeting to discuss strategies in how to tackle knife crime
Residents have been invited to take part in a community meeting organised by members of Off The Streets NN (North Northants) - a coalition of people committed to eradicating knife crime.
The North Northants knife crime meeting has been called as the community comes together in a show of solidarity.
Off The Streets NN will host the meeting at the Weavers Academy sports hall on Wednesday, October 20, from 6.45pm to 9pm.
At the meeting will be local authorities, and school and council leaders, who will discuss approaches to resolve issues affecting the community.
Rav Jones, representative of Off The Streets NN, said: “Following a number of recent knife and gang-related incidents in the area, we’re a group of volunteers who are determined to reverse the tide of violence. Everyone has a role in resolving problems in our community and we hope to welcome lots of people to our public community strategy meeting.”
The event will be led by community representatives as well as featuring poetry readings from Youngers United. There will be an opportunity for those attending to ask questions and to have an input into the group’s evolving strategy.
Vivien Swaida, principal of Weavers Academy, said: “Our school plays a key role in the local community and we are working hard to address issues around gang culture and knife crime. Given this criminal behaviour is a far wider societal problem, it’s critical that we work together and speak with a collective voice.”
Off The Streets NN will report the outputs of the meeting to Peter Bone MP on Friday, October 22.
Due to Covid protocols there is a limit of 100 places available allocated on a first come, first served basis.
The Off The Streets NN group was set up in response to the tragic death of Dylan Holliday,16, who died after being stabbed on the Queensway estate.
A week ago, Northants Police launched their Shine a Light campaign with messages projected on to county buildings highlighting knife crime - part of the long-running Operation Sceptre.
Superintendent Adam Ward, who is leading the Northants Police’s crackdown, said: “Knife crime is a matter of priority to us and has had fatal and life-destroying consequences in our county and the rest of the country. However, it’s really important to remember the vast majority of people don’t carry knives - it’s not a normal thing to do. It’s the small minority that do that commit these offences and we are committed to both preventing people carrying knives in the first place and taking robust action against offenders.”
The countywide operational campaign involves police officers, staff and volunteers from all manner of departments including neighbourhood and response teams, CID, the Road Crime Team, Public Protection, Special Constabulary, Northamptonshire Emergency Services Cadets and more. Activity will include engagement with people in the community, hotspot patrols, weapons sweeps, use of the knife arch and knife amnesties. Warrants will be executed and there will also be covert tactics involving plain clothes officers.
Supt Ward added: “Knife crime is insidious - knives can be and are involved in different crime types, from gang-related offences to domestic abuse. That’s why this planned operational campaign builds on our multi-team approach and work with partner agencies and communities. We all need to work together to reduce the risk and harm - and loss of lives - caused by knives.
“Reducing knife crime is a long-term, societal change which means making sure the next generation understand the risks. In addition to ongoing policing activity, we are working with partners in education on a lesson pack that is planned to be delivered next year into every school in Northamptonshire.”
Go to the Facebook event page for information by clicking here. or go to the Off the Streets- North Northants community against knife crime group's Facebook page. For more information about the campaign and to view the campaign messages, visit www.northants.police.uk/knifecrime.