Police and Crime Commissioner Donna Jones urges young people to take part in a crucial survey on knife crime in the county

Police and Crime Commissioner Donna Jones is calling on young people to take part in a crucial survey designed to explore the perceptions of knife crime in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.
Hampshire Police and Crime Commissioner Donna Jones. Picture: Keith WoodlandHampshire Police and Crime Commissioner Donna Jones. Picture: Keith Woodland
Hampshire Police and Crime Commissioner Donna Jones. Picture: Keith Woodland

The Office of the PCC’s Violence Reduction Unit is supporting the University of Portsmouth with a new study that investigates what people think about knife crime and its impact on feelings of safety.The insight will be used to gain further understanding on how to help people and communities devastated by knife crime, and offer a fresh approach to tackling serious violence and its root causes.PCC Jones said: “A zero tolerance approach on knife crime is one of the priorities in my Police and Crime Plan because we must do all we can to stop this disease that’s taking hold within communities up and down the country.“This survey is for everyone but in particular young people need to have their voices heard, and that’s why I want to hear from those aged between 12 and 25 years old so you can have your say on knife crime.

"This informed research will then enable us to move forward together to crack down on this devastating epidemic.

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“There are already many activities and interventions that are carried out across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight to raise awareness and combat knife crime, and just this month a pioneering drama scheme exploring the risks and impact to children in schools for the next two years began.“But there is so much more intervention to be explored, so many more ideas that can be investigated.

"That’s why this survey is a vital part of the puzzle that will unlock a fresh and informed approach to knife crime, so I would urge you all to get involved and have your say.”Respondents to the survey, which is anonymous, are asked a range of questions including whether they think knife crime is being tackled where they live, who they believe is responsible for fighting knife crime, what they think are the reasons behind someone committing violence in their community, and where they think violent offences are more likely to take place.

PCC Jones added: “Serious violence is a complex issue, and the opportunity to hear from as many people as possible through the knife crime survey will provide valuable insight.

"It will help everyone understand more on how communities impacted by knife crime can be informed and helped so we can all feel safer and be safer.”

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Across Hampshire, offenders were cautioned or sentenced 409 times for knife-related crimes in the year to March 2023. Of those, 100 (24%) resulted in immediate jail sentences – fewer than in 2019-20 (27%).

Hampshire Constabulary caught children aged under 18 with knives 70 times in 2022-23, a decrease from 91 the year before.

Of those cautioned or sentenced, 91% were men.

Overall, there were 19,086 knife offences that resulted in a caution or sentence in England and Wales to March this year, a slight decrease on last year’s figure of 19,674.

The knife crime survey can be accessed at https://survey.alchemer.eu/s3/90586430/VRU2023