A proactive plan to prevent Knife Crime and Antisocial behaviour

BOURNEMOUTH NEEDS A LOCAL ACTION PLAN

As a popular seaside town, Bournemouth has a vibrant nightlife, with thousands of visitors enjoying the night-time hospitality on any Friday or Saturday night. If we are to prevent Bournemouth from experiencing a similar rise in knife crime to that we have sadly seen in other parts of the country, we need action in Bournemouth now. Police and politicians must be far more proactive in challenging this current culture of carrying knives. More needs to be done in relation to front-line police numbers and educating young people on knife crime. Dorset’s police funding formula does not adequately factor in Bournemouth's night time economy which attracts thousands to our town centre. A visible police presence acts as a deterrent and as reassurance that the area is safe.

The Issues

  • The prevalence of youngsters choosing to carry knives through peer pressure, thinking that it's cool or often a requirement to be accepted into a gang.

  • An increased belief that carrying a knife is a demonstration of strength and the best way to defend oneself.

  • The last decade has seen a 75% increase in knife crime related incidents. 

How do we fix these issues

  • Action is needed in Bournemouth to stop it becoming victim to a rise in knife-crime.

  • We need extra Police Resources, specifically a Violence Reduction Unit. 

  • Existing VRUs established in other parts of the country have a record of reducing knife crime by understanding the local needs of the area, identifying where and how interventions would be most effective.

  • A VRU would bring together partners and organisations to reduce crime and address its underlying causes.

  • Local action to deter the small, but growing minority that choose to carry lethal weapons and offer reassurance to the majority of the public that simply want to experience a night out, that it is safe to do so.

  • Work with late night entertainment premises to ensure that they feel supported and in regular communication with the Police.

  • A fresh and clear strategy to ensure that Bournemouth's reputation as an attractive and safe seaside town for all the family is upheld. 

What action is being taken

  • Operation Nightjar - an initiative by Dorset Police to apprehend individuals looking to cause serious violence or carrying offensive and greater engagement with schools to warn teenagers of these dangers.

  • The Government are introducing new laws to clear the streets of weapons with tougher sentences for offenders and new powers for police to seize knives. Machetes and Zombie-Style knives will be banned. These weapons will be made illegal and sentences for sale and possession will be strengthened.

  • I have written to the Home Secretary and the Home Office Minister requesting more police officers and a Police Violence Reduction Unit in Bournemouth.

  • I have actively been going out on Patrol with Bournemouth police and exchanging ideas to ensure Bournemouth is a safe place for both residents and visitors. 

  • I am working with Dorset Police, Town Watch & Bournemouth BID on a set of actions to make our night time areas safer.

  • I have written to BCP Council's Licensing Committee to request that a metal detector scanning systems should be a requirement for the granting of a late night refreshment licence.

 

 

 

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