Published: Wednesday, 19th July 2017

The Royal Borough is partnering with schools, agencies and the Metropolitan Police.

On Monday 10 July, a conference was held with the head teachers of Royal Borough schools, the Metropolitan Police and Royal Greenwich officers to take a concerted and coordinated approach to identifying the early warning signs of young people becoming involved in knife crime and violent crime in general. The conference led to the developing of new ideas for strengthening anti-knife crime activity over the coming months.

It comes after a drive by the Safer Greenwich Partnership to educate young people on the dangers of knife crime and limit their access to knives and dangerous weapons. In the last year, the Royal Borough of Greenwich has:

  • Confiscated 12 knives during Town Centre Warden weapon sweeps
  • Conducted four test purchase operations with the Metropolitan Police Cadets, targeting 13 premises resulting in five successful sales, some of which were at national retailers. Action has subsequently been taken or is on-going against these retailers for breaches under the Criminal Justice Act
  • Supported Operation Sceptre - a rolling Metropolitan Police operation aimed at tackling knife crime hot-spots, conducting stop and searches, weapon sweeps and encouraging young people to surrender their knives at their nearest knife bank
  • Delivered educational sessions to over 2,650 pupils through the 'Growing Against Violence' (GAV) partnership programme. Funded by the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) and developed with the Metropolitan Police, Growing Against Violence (GAV) delivers key preventative education messages to young people in local schools to increase pupils' resilience against becoming victims of violence and exploitation.

The Royal Borough also intends to limit access to knives and bladed articles through working with businesses. A knife-sales charter is being launched later this year which will encourage businesses to pledge vigilance when selling knives or razor blades and to share information with Trading Standards and the Police.

Street Violence Ruins Lives

The Royal Borough works in partnership with the Charlton Athletic Community Trust (CACT) on its 'Street Violence Ruins Lives' initiative.

CACT run an awareness programme in schools, an estates-based programme for young people identified as being involved in crime, and targeted specialist work with repeat offenders who are at risk of custodial sentences.

'Stop knife crime before it happens'

Councillor Jackie Smith, Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Environment, said "Tackling knife and violent crime remains an utmost priority of the Safer Greenwich Partnership. To schools, businesses, charities and partner agencies, we must all work as closely as we can together on intervening early to stop knife crime before it happens."

'Seriousness of carrying a knife or weapon'

Detective Superintendent Lee Hill, from the Greenwich Metropolitan Police, added "As knife crime continues to be a cause for concern across the capital, we are clear that here in Greenwich we will work with all of our partners on a firm and multi-faceted approach to tackling this issue. Monday's conference provided a real opportunity for us to discuss strengthening our work in schools and ensuring that young people are in no doubt about the seriousness and gravity of carrying a knife or weapon."

Further help and guidance

For help and guidance from local organisations on knife crime, please visit the Greenwich Community Directory.