Police questioned on rise in knife crime across Notts as 100 extra reports recorded in a year

Notts Police Chief Constable Craig Guildford and Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry at the new Radford Road Custody Suite.
By Matt Jarram, Local Democracy Reporter

Nottinghamshire Police faced questions about how they are tackling knife crime after more than 100 extra reports were recorded in the space of a year.

Cllr Neghat Khan (Lab), portfolio holder for community safety at Nottingham City Council, asked what was being done locally following a series of stabbings in the city in recent weeks.

She called for answers from the Police and Crime Commissioner, Caroline Henry, at a Police and Crime Panel meeting at County Hall on Monday, June 6.

In the 12 months to March 2021, Nottinghamshire Police recorded 703 violent knife crime offences. In the 12 months to March 2022, this rose to 809.

Violence with injury also rose from 9,061 to 11,353. This was due to the relaxation of Covid restrictions and the re-opening of the night-time economy, the police said.

A report prepared for the meeting said levels of violent knife crime increased by over 15 per cent over the last year, driven by increases in the latest quarter resulting in a six year high in March 2022.

The policing areas – City Central and City Centre – accounted for the majority of knife crime in early March with occurrences “inflated by multiple victims”.

Several occurrences also appear to be the same group of offenders, the report stated, with over a quarter of offences also being reported as domestic related.

Some of the most recent incidents include the death of Ricardo Cotteral, 33, who was attacked in Broad Street, on Sunday, April 24, just before 2am.

He died a short time later after collapsing in nearby Lower Parliament Street. A number of people have been charged with his murder.

A teenager was also charged with attempted murder after a police officer was stabbed in the buttock after carrying out a stop and search in North Sherwood Street at 11pm on Monday, April 25.

And on Saturday,  May 7, a 14-year-old boy was reportedly stabbed twice on Cheapside, off Old Market Square, at 4.10pm. An arrest has been made.

Cllr Khan asked the Police and Crime Commissioner: “As a Nottingham city resident, we have seen six stabbings over a period of eight weeks.

“So, what are you doing to hold the Chief Constable to account with serious violence in the city and what are you doing to manage public perception over this issue?

“When you talk to young people, they say to feel safe they have to carry a knife. How do we move from that perception where they feel they do not have to carry one.”

Mrs Henry responded: “I was disappointed with the amount of knife crime. We are doing a series of things. We have the Violence Reduction Unit and our knife crime teams.

“We are hoping it was a blip. Nationally, there has been an increase too, but I can assure you we are monitoring it closely.”

Chief Constable of Nottinghamshire Police, Craig Guildford said prevention was the key.

He said while there are police officers educating students in secondary schools, there needs to be an increased push around primary schools as well.

He said: “One has to reflect on how far we have come. We are below the national and regional average in knife crime. Every one of those knife crimes is one too many and you are right, when it involves young kids it is concerning.

“I think in March we saw an increase and we made arrests on nearly all of those jobs and they are working their way through the criminal justice process.

“They are not just all young people but there were a couple involving young people and sadly a couple of jobs where police officers received injuries too.

“The main emphasis is keeping the money in prevention and working with partners and trying to increase the number of cops.

“It is a minority not a majority expressing the view that it is safer to carry because statistically it definitely is not. We need to keep the pressure on what fuels that knife crime in particular the street dealing of drugs.”

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