Two weeks ago, over 30 people attended an event to discuss serious youth violence, which includes knife crime.
We hosted the event along with an organisation called MutualGain, which aims to empower organisations and communities to reconnect. The event took the form of a ‘World Café’, allowing facilitators, some of whom were police officers, to speak to community members from the Kempston, Kingsbrook and Cauldwell areas in an informal environment.
Residents, including local councillors, were urged to have honest conversations about what it’s like to live in their neighbourhoods, what they are concerned about and how they think these concerns could be addressed.
Their thoughts and ideas were noted down throughout the day, and following the initial meeting which allowed for information gathering, feedback will be analysed and compiled to allow the force to see the most common themes.
Speaking to the community is always valuable, and their thoughts should enable us and our partners to design solutions in partnership with our community that can be implemented to help us tackle serious youth violence and knife crime.
Serious youth violence is a growing concern across the county. We remain dedicated to tackling this, but it does need an approach that involves our communities. The people who were at the event are the people who live in our communities, and they all have their own extremely valuable ideas about how we can tackle these issues.
Superintendent Jaki Whittred
Force lead for knife crime