Representatives from the police and partner organisations, led by Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Paddy Tipping, have come together for a major conference on knife crime.
The PCC invited community safety, criminal justice, Local Authority and third sector partners from across the county and beyond to take part in the conference to assess current knife crime problems in the county and identify action in preparation for the launch of Mr Tipping’s new knife crime strategy later this summer.
The event, which was hosted at The Atrium in Carrington, also featured the powerful testimony of Trish Bergan, whose 27-year-old son Jerome Eugene Bergan was killed following a single stab wound to the chest in in December 2002.
The conference heard Mr Tipping outlining a raft of new measures to tackle knife crime across the county, including the recruitment of 11 dedicated knife crime officers who will be assigned to schools in the county.
The new police school liaison officers will be tasked with re-educating pupils on the dangers of carrying knives and building stronger relationships with young people at risk of knife crime as perpetrators or victims.
Mr Tipping, who has already committed funding to employ a knife crime strategy manager, has also set aside more than £70,000 to fund community projects which work alongside disengaged young people and channel their energy into sport to prevent offending.
Mr Tipping said: “Knife crime is one of the most serious threats facing our young people today and it’s imperative that we act now before the next generation of children grow up and duplicate the violence they see from their peers.
“We need to stop young people carrying knives and this means reaching young children at an impressionable age who’ve not yet formed opinions or ideas about who they want to be.
“This is why it’s so important we develop a strong presence in our schools and steer young people in a positive direction.
Craig Guildford, Nottinghamshire chief constable, added: “The fact that so many agencies came together at this conference shows just how committed and enthusiastic we are about the Lives not Knives project and how strongly we feel that working together is the key to tackling this national problem.”