In a recent violent incident in the centre of Cardiff – where 6 were hurt in disorder and stabbings – there are questions surrounding whether or not the rise in knife crime is to blame.
On Saturday, 6 individuals were taken to hospital after being violently attacked by a group of four people aged 16 and 17 – one sustaining head injuries and another three stabbed (non-life-threatening). The incident was dealt with quickly by South Wales Police who detained the four people who began the attack. However, they have urged parents who suspect their child was involved in the incident to come forward.
Dept Supt Esyr Jones Said “Tackling knife crime is the responsibility of us all and any parents who have suspicions about their children being involved are not protecting them by remaining quiet”
But has this incident highlighted the increase in Knife Crime and is there enough being done to prevent such an attack from happening again?
In 2010-11 there were 382 offences of Knife Crime and other violent behaviour in the area of Cardiff. In 2018-19 that number was 737, up from 621 the year before.
Compared to London, Manchester & Liverpool, Cardiff is relatively small in size and population and has a small number of knife-related crimes compared to them. However, in 2019 there were a number of knife-related incidents. In a 3-month period during the summer of 2019, three young men in and around Cardiff lost their lives. In June Fahad Nur died after being stabbed 21 times near Cathays Train Station. Asim Khan, 21 died after being stabbed in St Mary’s Street in July and Harry Bake who was 17, died from stab wounds last September.
And earlier this year in February 2020, South Wales police were issued a Section 60 that allowed police officers the powers to stop and search those who are suspected of holding a knife in the areas of Butetown, Grangetown and Riverside. This came after two men were stabbed 24 hours of each other – one incident in Riverside’s Seamon Street and another in Butetown’s Loudon Square.
In light of the recent crimes involving knives, individuals from local communities within Cardiff have set up charities to help support young people to stay away from knife crime. James Bourne who runs local self-defence classes (Kalah) regularly gets calls from his community asking to retrieve knives that have been found within homes and understands the devastating effects Knife Crime can have (with him being a close friend to the family of Asim Kahn). In an interview with Wales Online James was asked how the issue surrounding Knife Crime could be solved and said “The only way forward is harsher sentencing powers for those found committing knife crime, and greater police power to prevent it getting to that situation”
James added, “it’s not just teaching them, it’s showing them. I show my students videos of parents who have lost their sons”. You can read more here
Two years ago, South Wales Police launched Operation Sceptre, an in your face approach to tackling knife crime and the problems of serious violence and drugs that are associated with it.
Superintendent Wendy Gunney, Lead for Operation Sceptre said “Police forces across the country have recorded a rise in knife crime but mercifully the level of those offences in South Wales is not the same as in other parts of the UK, with knife crime remaining rare for the vast majority of communities here.
“But we can never be complacent. Every incident involving a knife has consequences for all those involved and so this is an issue we take extremely seriously.
“Under Operation Sceptre we have put in place a number of measures to address any concerns communities may have and clamp down on those who are carrying and using knives.
“We have invested in a number of measures to help tackle the issue.” – you can read more about Operation Sceptre here
You can read more about recent knife crimes in England and Wales in our blog here.
Sentences surrounding the carrying and the use of a knife range from six months custodial sentence and a maximum of 4 years. However, there are calls for harsher and tougher sentences to be issued to those carrying knives to help dissuade others from carrying them.
What should you do if you suspect someone is carrying a knife?
Knives are very easy to conceal on a person. Keeping yourself safe is vital and if you are confronted with the threat of violence, you should immediately walk away. Once you are safe, tell someone you can trust – a parent, teacher, lecturer, friend or the police. It’s vital that you report anything you know about knife crime to the police on 101 or crime stoppers anonymously on 0800 555111. You can also report anything to do with knife crime 100% anonymously via fearless.
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