Police: We’re stepping up the war on knives

The county’s police force is intensifying its efforts to reduce knife crime after admitting it’s a serious problem – especially among young people.

In the past, Kent Police has insisted that knife crime is no worse here than in other similar parts of the UK.

But last month Ch Insp Mark Weller, the area commander for Canterbury, accepted that there had been a significant rise in knife crime. The force blames it on the increased activity of London drug gangs operating in the area.

Mr Weller said: “Our message to anyone coming to Canterbury to deal drugs, and carrying knives or blades is that it will not be tolerated.

Ch Insp Mark Weller

“There are turf wars over drugs in London, but that is not going to happen on our patch. We are operating a zero-tolerance policy against drugs and knives.”

Over January, police in Canterbury tweeted details of knives seized and arrests made.

As well as tackling the dealers, the force will be visiting schools, colleges and youth clubs to warn of the dangers and risks of carrying knives.

Ch Insp Andrew¬†Somerville said: “We will not be complacent when it comes to knife crime.

“It is important that we work with youngsters at an early age as carrying knives can never become socially acceptable and it is more likely they will get hurt or arrested than stay safe.”

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