item 7 knife enabled crime v2 2 by JMBWm22


									Hampshire Police Authority

Performance Committee                                   Item: 7

18 June 2007

Homicide reduction - Knife enabled crime.

Report of the Chief Constable

Contact:     Detective Superintendent 7227 David WILLIAMS.
             0845 045 45 45 ext 64-1401.

1.    Summary

1.1   This report provides the Committee with information about the
      Constabulary’s ongoing response in respect of prevention and
      investigation of knife enabled crime and an overview of Homicide
      offences for 2006/7

1.2   This report provides details of:
          The ACPO/Home office violent crime strategy published February
          The role of the intelligence directorate violent crime control desk in
           terms of their analysis of violent crime and application of
           intelligence prevention and enforcement control measures.
          Examples of the force prevention and enforcement response.

1.3   This report recommends that:
          The Performance Committee notes the report.

2.    Background

2.1   Knife crime has recently been further highlighted as a significant public
      interest/protection issue following extensive media coverage
      surrounding high profile homicides involving young people and knives
      in metropolitan areas, many of these matters being gang related.

2.2   Such offences are not limited to metropolitan forces. Whilst Hampshire
      does not experience a discernable ‘gang’ problem, a number of serious
      knife crime offences were committed in Hampshire during 2006/07
      including the high profile detected murders of two youths (15yrs and
      18yrs) in the Southampton area.

2.3   Following a year on year fall in Homicide in Hampshire and the IOW
      between 2000 and April 2006 offences of murder and manslaughter
      rose from 13 in 2005/6 to 19 in 2006/7. Of this number there were 12
      murder and 7 manslaughter offences.

2.4   In general terms homicides in private places (46%) show a decreasing
      trend over previous years and an increasing trend in public places.

2.5   66% of homicides were committed by either family member friend or
      acquaintance 33% by a partner or ex partner.

2.6   38% (7) of Homicide offences in Hampshire were committed using a
      sharp instrument.

3.    ACPO/Home office violent crime strategy February 2007

3.1   ACPO and the Home Office have produced a National Knife Crime
      Strategy containing four core National Intelligence Model strands :-

         Develop knife crime intelligence about victims, offenders and
         Deliver anti-knife programmes for education and prevention.
         Target individuals who use or carry knives unlawfully.
         Reassure communities through high visibility policing and effective
          use of the media.

3.2   The ACPO strategy has been disseminated to all forces. Whilst the
      authors recognise that nationally knife-enabled crime is not increasing,
      there is recognition of the harm it causes to victims and the fear it
      creates in our communities. The strategy reinforces the importance of
      partnership working.

3.3   This strategy has been produced to enable forces to access the best
      practice available and is borne out of lessons learned from the national
      knife amnesty and the experience of many practitioners.

4.    Intelligence directorate analysis

4.1   The violent crime control desk conduct a daily critical incident scan of
      all knife related and other incidents of violence producing monthly
      problem profiles, emerging trends and hot spots. Furthermore the desk
      officers actively intervene where it is perceived that the standard of
      positive police action does not reach an acceptable minimum standard
      and that the safety of any person is compromised.

4.2   The problem profiles produced by the desk have recently been
      enhanced by hospital data reported through crime and disorder

      partnership in Southampton where multi agency actions were agreed
      on 5th June 2007.

4.3   The work of our violent crime control desk enhances public safety in
      Hampshire and the Isle of Wight and is a function not exercised by
      many other Forces.

5.    Force prevention and enforcement response

5.1   Local application of the National Knife amnesty during 2006 resulted in
      4,600 weapons being removed from the streets of Hampshire and the
      Isle of Wight; the highest number for a force nationally.

5.2   Following enactment of the Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006 in April
      2007, the Serious and Organised crime unit conducted proactive
      operations codenamed Operation SHARP in the IOW and Portsmouth
      areas recovering weapons from individuals involved in internet sales.
      SOCU have committed to engage in similar proactive intelligence led
      operations throughout 2007/8.

5.3   A strong media message followed that “Internet companies, although
      only a market place for vendors, have a duty to ensure that they are
      operating within the law and illegal knives must not be sold”.

5.4   Operation SHARP 2 is a follow up initiative co-ordinated by the violent
      crime control desk since May 2007. To date, sixteen intelligence led
      search/disruption actions have been sent to OCUs in respect of persons
      known to carry knives in public. This centrally co-ordinated intelligence
      led approach will be incorporated into ‘business as usual’.

5.5   The Community Safety Department has sent a safety booklet entitled
      ‘A Guide to Staying Safe’ to all year 11 school leavers in Hampshire and
      the IOW including advice about knife crime. In addition the department
      is preparing an impact assessment on guidance to schools in respect of
      new powers to search pupils.

5.6   Ongoing analysis during 2007 consistently highlights areas of
      Portsmouth and Southampton as those with a greater knife crime
      problem than the remainder of Hampshire and the IOW.

5.7   Detailed analysis in the Southampton area revealed a 14% increase in
      knife related occurrences in 2006/7 over the previous year, although
      instances where knives were used to cause injury decreased by 17%
      from 125 incidents to 104 (including 3 homicides). The analysis has
      recommended 30 prevention and enforcement measures for
      consideration by the OCU Commander including actions relating to
      officer safety, enhancing public awareness particularly within schools,
      implementing a partnership approach to deal with repeat offending in

        particular housing and widening the enforcement and intelligence
        approach through targeting sales of knives.

5.8     High visibility policing and street searching of individuals in problem
        areas will continue throughout 2007 with the assistance of the Force
        Support Unit.

5.9     Head of CID has taken a national co-ordinating role as a standing
        member of the homicide working group.

6.      Recommendation

6.1     That the Performance Committee notes the report.

Section 100D (Local Government Act 1972) background papers

The following documents disclose facts or matters on which this report, or an
important part of it, is based and has been relied upon to a material extent in
the preparation of this report.

NB the list excludes:
1. published works; and,
2. documents that disclose exempt or confidential information as defined in
   the Act.

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