Cleveland Police feature on BBC documentary looking at knife crime in the area
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The force recently featured in a BBC television documentary looking at knife crime in the North-East and how government funding should be spent to tackle the problem.
“We Are England, Knife Angels: What Happened Next” aired on BBC 1 at 8:30pm on Monday 16th January.
The three men who stabbed the victim featured in the BBC documentary, who had to undergo emergency surgery to his wounds, were sentenced on Tuesday 17th January.
Josh White, 21, of Thornaby, was sentenced to eight years and three 6 months for wounding with intent along with a two-year concurrent sentence for possession of a knife after pleading guilty to both.
Keaton Gibson, 21, of Thornaby, was sentenced to three years for unlawful wounding and given an 18-month concurrent sentence for possession of a knife after pleading guilty to both.
Connor Smith, 23, of no fixed abode, was found guilty of unlawful wounding and sentenced to three years, with a one-year concurrent sentence after pleading guilty to possession of a bladed article.
Detective Constable Mick Matthews of the Homicide and Major Enquiry Team said: “The victim in this attack was left with life changing injuries to his vital organs. He has been scarred for life both physically and mentally, suffering the deep psychological effects of the reality of knife crime.
“Those who carry weapons such as knives know the misery and pain they can cause to their victim and the surrounding community.
“Cleveland Police will continue to do all that it can to rid the streets of Teesside of weapons, targeting those carrying knives to prevent such violent and abhorrent attacks.”
In response to the increase in violent crime in the area over the past few years, Cleveland Police are consistently focused on proactively tackling knife crime. In November, the Cleveland’s newly established Force Proactive Team began targeted patrols under Operation Deterrent, focussing on areas highlighted as hotspots for violent crime. These patrols focus directly on those areas featuring heavily in analysis of violent crime across Cleveland.
By challenging the right people at the right time, stop and search checks under Operation Deterrent have resulted in an increase in positive results with the team removing many violent weapons from the streets of Cleveland, and preventing future incidents involving knives.
In November the force also took part in Operation Sceptre, the national week of action to tackle knife crime. Cleveland’s arrest rate during that week was the second highest in the country that week, with 348 arrests.
The knife amnesty for Operation Sceptre saw 245 knives surrendered following an engagement and education programme through schools, colleges and on social media aimed at changing the culture of carrying knives and showing the real consequences of knife crime on Teesside.
Chief Superintendent John Bent, Cleveland Police’s Head of Crime said: “Teesside has high levels of serious violence and knife crime is a significant factor in this.
“As well as police enforcement activity we are working closely with colleagues from the Cleveland Unit for the Reduction of Violence and other key stakeholders, including the voluntary sector, to reduce knife crime in the region.
“The force is particularly keen to engage with young people with an educational and diversionary approach as part of this work, and there are plans to develop this further in 2023.”
The programme is available to watch now on BBC iPlayer.