Crimestoppers has launched a new campaign in North Wales to help deter people from carrying knives, although it is noted ‘North Wales remains one of the safest places to live and visit’.
The independent charity says it is responding to concerns by campaigning to ‘Cut the chance of being hurt by knife crime’ to stop individuals from carrying knives and also to take information about those who choose to regularly carry weapons.
The rise of knife crime is a national issue and reports of people carrying knives in public increases fear and worry in communities. North Wales is one of the safest parts of the UK, however unfortunately knife crime incidents have risen in the area, though the numbers remain low compared to other areas of Wales and the UK.
The new campaign, aims to build trust in communities throughout North Wales and emphasise that, as an independent charity, Crimestoppers is a safe method of passing on information about crime.
Gary Murray, Regional Manager for Crimestoppers charity in North Wales, said: “Some young people may feel that if others are carrying knives, they should be doing the same for protection. However, more knives on the streets only leads to one outcome – more people getting hurt.
“Fortunately, according to the Home Office, 99% of young people in England and Wales choose to live knife free. We’re asking people to speak up safely about the small minority who carry knives and weapons illegally. By choosing to call us or contact us online, we guarantee that you will remain 100% anonymous – always.”
As part of the campaign an ad-van will be touring areas where there have been recent incidents.
Additionally, there will be messages across social media as Crimestoppers reaches out to young people to promote its Fearless.org youth service which encourages teenagers to speak up about their concerns.
Arfon Jones, North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “The number of offences where the use of a knife to commit a crime as well as just carrying a knife as an offensive weapon has gone up across England and Wales.
“Much of this violence is gang related around Class A drugs supply and the exploitation of young people who are often dragged into County Lines. We are co-operating with colleagues to address this issue and welcome this campaign by the charity Crimestoppers.
“To put the knife crime in North Wales into some context, the number of homicides in North Wales have halved over the last two years.
“Whatever the headlines in the national press say, North Wales remains one of the safest places to live and visit and our whole focus remains on keeping our communities safe.”
Inspector Vic Powell, North Wales Police, said: “Knife crime is devastating.
“If you, your partner, son or daughter carry a knife, they are at risk – at risk of going to prison, at risk of being killed or seriously injured and at risk of having to live with the aftermath of someone’s death.
“Although statistically North Wales remains one of the safest places in the country to live, we fully support this campaign and hope it will drive home the message that carrying a knife can have terrible consequences.
If you have any information on crime in North Wales then contact Crimestoppers charity 100% anonymously on 0800 555 111 or through the non-traceable Anonymous Online Form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org.
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