As you will gathered from recent media reports we have seen an unprecedented amount of major incidents in the first five months of this year. Crime naturally fluctuates and there are incidents that we just can’t anticipate or predict, such is the nature of policing.
The death of anyone in suspicious circumstances has a devastating impact on the families of victims, and we recognise that any number of murder investigations, no matter how small or big, will concern residents, particularly the local communities where the incident has happened.
I want to reassure our communities that specialist officers from our regional team have investigated each and every incident and charges have either been brought or individuals identified in all cases.
When a murder investigation is launched, hundreds of resources are deployed from specialist officers who support the families of those affected, to forensic investigators, highly-trained search teams and neighbourhood officers.
So far this year we have investigated eleven murders or manslaughter cases, eight of those cases involved a knife. This is not acceptable.
Each case is looked at and reviewed constantly throughout the investigation to identify any trends or links, all of these incidents are isolated.
We would like to reassure the local community that our efforts to tackle offences where knives have been used are ongoing. In October last year we launched a knife crime campaign, Lives not Knives. As part of the campaign we held an amnesty, which resulted in 193 bladed weapons being handed into police stations over a four week period, that’s 193 fewer weapons on the streets of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.
We have dedicated operational plans in place at the weekends in the city and busy towns in our force area. You may have seen the knife arches or heard about our drugs dog. As well as that we are working closely with our partner agencies, including education to deliver awareness training to schools and young people, we will continue to educate, prevent and enforce.
We know that our work to tackle this issue and stop people from carrying weapons is no easy task, but we will continue to work with the courts to ensure anyone prosecuted for crimes involving weapons face lengthy custodial sentences.
We know there are prolific offenders who chose to carry knives, we’re targeting those individuals who are on the cusp of criminality or involved in organised crime groups. We have a specific operation to deal with them and deter them from committing knife crime.
Let me reassure you that despite the increase experienced, Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland remains a safe place to live, visit and work. We are actively working with other agencies but ultimately I need your help to change attitudes and prevent people from carrying knives in the first place.
As your Assistant Chief Constable, I will ensure we give you regular information and you will visibly see an increase in police patrols and activity in some areas. You can also help us by being our eyes and ears in the community and if you have information about people carrying knives or being involved in criminality, please contact us. If you feel you’re not able to contact the police directly, you can contact Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.
Thank you for your continued support.
Assistant Chief Constable
Source:: Leicestershire Police News