Chief Constable responds to knife crime concerns in Slough

Shay Bottomley
Chief Constable responds to knife crime concerns in Slough

Thames Valley Police Chief Constable John Campbell sought to address concerns raised in Slough and the surrounding areas in an interview with the Express on Tuesday.

In the 20-minute interview, Chief Constable Campbell discussed actions being taken to prevent serious violent crime across Slough.

It comes after an incident earlier this month in which the death of a teenager sparked a murder investigation by TVP.

Two years ago, a teenager was jailed for the murder of a 15-year-old boy in Salt Hill Park in September 2019.

Chief Constable Campbell acknowledged the ‘tragic incidents’, but sought to provide reassurances that work was being undertaken by the force to tackle serious violent crime.

“In actual fact, serious violent crime is down 20 per cent since 2018/19, so it’s coming down,” he said.

“What happens, and quite rightly so, is an incident gets quite a lot of publicity but there’s underlying trends that we look at, and that’s in response to a lot of work that has been going on in Slough.

“There are areas where we know that violence might be more prevalent than others, so [we undertake] regular targeted patrol activity.”

John added that the force were ‘looking at those people that might have more of a leaning towards violence’ to divert individuals away from knife crime.

This week, Thames Valley Police has launched Operation Spectre, a one-week campaign designed to challenge and reduce the threat of knife crime across the region.

On the operation itself, the chief constable said education was a key focus during the operation.

He added: “It’s not a yearly thing; we run it at various times across the force for a week or so, and what we have in effect is education as one aspect of it, making sure that we’re going into schools where we can and educating young people across the force area. And then we have activity in and around enforcement so proactive patrols around hotspot areas as well.

“We have a knife amnesty with people handing in knives and weapons that people don’t want themselves or also don’t want to get into criminal hands as well, so that takes that opportunity away from potential offenders.

“It’s a pretty successful operation in truth. As I say that’s definitely contributed to the work the force has done – serious violence is down nine per cent across the whole of TVP.

“It’s not enough, we want [the reduction] to be more and we want to keep bringing it down, but it’s going in the right direction.”

If you have any information about the possession of knives or criminal activity, report on the TVP website or call 101.

Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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