Police launch crackdown targeting people armed with knives in South Tyneside
A police crackdown is being launched to highlight the risks of carrying knives.
A week-long awareness campaign starts today to drive home the message that being armed with a knife on the streets of South Tyneside will not be tolerated.
Police hope it will encourage people to discuss the impact of knife crime to prevent it from happening.
In the run up to the campaign, officers have been visiting schools to talk to pupils of the dangers of carrying knives.
Last year, police joined forces with the Glen Corner Trust, to visit South Shields Community School as part of a number of initiatives, aimed at highlighting to young people the impact knife crime can have on those who chose to carry a bladed weapon, on victims and their families.
A recent investigation by the Gazette found three pupils aged 12 or under have been caught with knives at schools across South Tyneside in the last two years - but the figure is small compared to the rest of the UK where the number of young people caught on school premises with blades has risen by more than a third.
Acting Inspector Steve Prested said: “While knife crime is not an issue in South Tyneside as seen in other parts of the country, one incident is still one too many.
“This is why we continue to carry out specialised operations, on top of the work we do on a daily basis, to remind those thinking about arming themselves with a knife this is something that will not be tolerated, and that if caught, they will be dealt with appropriately.”
Praising the campaign Pat McDougall, grandmother of Glen Corner who was killed on his 16th birthday, said: “The pain of losing someone as a result of any crime, not just knife crime, is immense. You can’t put into words the pain you feel every day.
“I know in South Tyneside there is not as big an issue with knife crime as there is in other parts of the country, but that isn’t stopping the police from continuing to raise awareness of the dangers of carrying a knife and the impact that can have on families and communities.”
Gemma Maughan, whose brother David Charlton was killed in 2012, said: “I’m really pleased the police are running this initiative and even though, it is not as much an issue in the area, they are still seeing it as a priority.
“A lot of it is about educating people about the impact knife crime can have in the hope of preventing it from happening again.”