Knife crime in the county fell by almost a quarter according to official Government statistics, thanks to robust policing and targeted operations.
Data published by the Office of National Statistics showed officers’ no-nonsense stance against knife crime has seen 226 less offences recorded in Kent.
These figures are comparing the year ending March 2020 to March 2019 and are unaffected by the COVID-19 pandemic as it relates to the period prior to the lockdown.
High level enforcement action has been key with the force regularly taking part in the national Operation Sceptre – a campaign to reduce knife crime – which has been successful in identifying and arresting those who carry weapons.
On 11 July officers from Medway’s Community Policing Team worked with the British Transport Police at Gillingham Train Station as part of a planned operation. This resulted in two knives along with class A drugs being seized and two teenagers arrested for being in possession of weapons.
A Canterbury burglar was jailed on 15 July for four years after breaking into two properties and threatening the occupants of one home with a knife.
Furthermore, this week a suspected drug dealer was charged after he was stopped in his car in Folkestone. Officers found class A drugs and a lock knife in his possession.
Uniformed and plain-clothed officers frequently carry out extra patrols to detect and deter habitual knife carriers.
Across the county the focus has also been on education and intervention with Police Community Support Officers and volunteer police cadets regularly visiting schools, colleges and youth clubs to encourage young people to make better life choices.
Over the past year officers have been providing talks and sharing stories with the aim to promote safety in Kent, reduce knife crime and associated offences and tackle anti-social behaviour.
Kent Police Deputy Chief Constable Tony Blaker said: ‘This reduction in reports of knife crime is testament to the hard work of our officers in taking a zero-tolerance approach to knives and weapons in our communities.
‘Our officers are committed to tackling knife crime and removing dangerous weapons such as knives from our communities. This is done through targeted enforcement action and effective educational interventions in the community.
‘We feel that the message is getting through to people that if you choose to carry a knife in Kent, even if you feel it’s for your own protection, you are likely to get arrested, prosecuted and will receive a tough punishment.
‘Kent is a safe county and we plan to keep it that way so our message is simple; knife crime in Kent will not be tolerated.’