New tactics revealed to tackle knife crime in Sussex

A game has been created following research by Sussex Police around the topic of young people and knife crime.

Knife crime in Sussex
Knife crime in Sussex

A game has been created following research by Sussex Police around the topic of young people and knife crime.

The research, which heard from around 1,000 secondary school students, revealed 14 per cent of the teenagers spoken to did not feel safe in their local area, with seven per cent feeling pressurised to carry a knife.

Sign up to our daily SussexWorld Today newsletter

‘A Game of Knife or Life’ stimulates conservation around knife crime and signposts young people to support services.

Aimed at those aged between 11-16, the game will be used in schools, youth clubs, and by neighbourhood youth officers.

The game campaign won national recognition at the Chartered Institute of Public Relations award earlier this year.

Sussex Police has also been using social media to reach out to young people.

Chief Inspector Simon Yates, the force’s lead for knife crime and serious violence, said, “A key focus in reducing knife crime and serious violence is via our engagement with young people, with the aim to influence behaviour change and to encourage young people to live knife free.

A Game of Knife or Life (Photo by Sussex Police) SUS-211124-083755001

“By looking at the underlying reasons why a young person might carry a knife, we are better placed to understand the issue and tackle it at its root rather than once it’s already embedded or escalated.

“The research will be used to shape and inform our response to knife crime. An evidence-led approach will be more effective in preventing knife-related crime and violence, helping to keep our communities safe.”

The research and card game will enhance the work already being done by Sussex Police under Operation Safety - the force’s overall response to knife crime and serious violence.

Ch Insp Yates said, “Getting caught with a knife can change a person’s life. We’re committed to highlighting the impact these dangerous weapons can have, giving young people the information and support they need to make changes and be more empowered in the decisions they make.

“Knife crime is a complex issue and it’s not one that can be solved by police alone. To create real long-lasting change, it’s essential that we continue to work closely with our partners, young people and their families on awareness and education.”

Police and crime commissioner for Sussex Katy Bourne said, “It’s essential that we understand what drives young people to carry knives so that we can design and target the most effective messages and advice to help them come to the right conclusion - that carrying a knife makes you more vulnerable to violence and can scar your future forever.

“Sussex Police’s challenging yet educational card game approach was created in conjunction with young people who gave unique insights into their fears and the peer pressure that can lead to people carrying a blade.

“My message has always been short and clear: Lose the knife, not a life.”

Members of the public can report information to police either online or by calling 101. Always dial 999 in an emergency. Information can also be reported anonymously via the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or Childline on 0800 1111.