Driving down violent crime in Essex
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We’re relentlessly driving down violent crime and are working hard to keep it that way through enforcement, education and intervention.
Lives are lost needlessly or changed forever because of violence involving weapons and we are determined to do everything we can to prevent more people from suffering the devastation it causes.
Our ongoing work is making a difference, and we’ve seen 629 fewer victims of violence with injury offences in the year to the end of June, a drop of just over 4%. This equates just over seven offences per 1,000 people in Essex.
We’ve also seen a 13% reduction in knife enabled crime across Essex. These are crimes where a knife or sharp object is used in offences including attempted murder, grievous bodily harm, rape or sexual assault, homicide, robbery, and threats to kill.
We’ve also seen 185 fewer crimes recorded for possession of an offensive weapon, a drop of almost 13%, in the 12 months to June.
Your chances of being a victim of violent crime are low but we are committed to trying to drive this down further.
Detective Chief Inspector Lewis Basford, of our Serious Violence Unit, said:
“Five people have lost their lives needlessly to knife crime so far this year and that’s five too many.
“Every life lost or altered by the effects of violent crime causes ripples of devastation through families and communities.
“We will not stop pursuing those who carry weapons with the intent to cause harm and bringing them to justice.
“If you carry a weapon, you will be arrested.”
We use intelligence-led policing to carry out proactive patrols, use stop and search powers to catch offenders, and to gather evidence to identify and arrest suspects.
We are also proactively seizing weapons to prevent violent crime from happening in the first place.
We’ve also been working closely with UK Border Force to tackle the importation of illegal weapons and drugs.
UK Border Force staff identify suspicious packages that come in via international mail and pass them to us for investigation.
Between August last year and April this year, they seized 131 knives, batons, knuckle dusters, stun guns and realistic imitation firearms.
When these weapons are seized, officers speak to the individuals who buy them and identify those who knowingly commit offences and others who don’t realise they have items that are illegal in the UK.
Depending on the circumstances, this has resulted them being arrested or having their homes searched, or they were dealt with by way of caution, community resolution, or being referred to a diversionary scheme.
This work complements changes in legislation that came into force last week, which makes it illegal to possess certain prohibited weapons in private premises.
We are also targeting solo drug dealers, county lines gangs and organised crime groups, whose illegal businesses are closely associated with violence and weapon-carrying.
Since January, so far we’ve made 254 arrests and seized £204,688 in assets under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
“There’s a strong link between drugs and weapon carrying, and people involved in this lifestyle put themselves at greater risk of being involved in violence,” said DCI Basford.
“But we also know there are people who carry knives for their own protection or are put under pressure by others to do so.
“We work closely with other organisations and charities to educate young people about the dangers and focus on diverting them away from lifestyles that put them at risk of being harmed.
“But we can’t do that alone.
“It’s important that we all talk to our children about these issues and can spot the signs that they may need help to avoid being led down the wrong road.”
How do I get help?
For more information
- Anyone who is worried about someone or is looking for support themselves can visit the Knife Free website for advice.
- Victim Support provide free and confidential support if you have been a victim of crime.
- Find out more about county lines drug activity.
- Find out more about child criminal exploitation.
- Find out more about police stop and search powers.