Police officers have visited young people who are known to carry knives, and their families, during a multi-agency operation to tackle and reduce violent crime on the Saffron Lane and Eyres Monsell estates.
‘Operation Concord-Fan’ saw neighbourhood teams from Leicester South carry out proactive visits to 21 young people who are habitual knife carriers, plus an additional nine members of their families, to warn them that carrying a knife can escalate into serious violence and organised crime.
The five week operation, which was run at the same time as the national knife crime campaign Operation Sceptre, was designed to prevent vulnerable offenders being targeted by organised criminal gangs; to reduce knife crime and disrupt the supply of knives being used in crime.
It targeted those identified as causing most harm, or those involved in criminal exploitation, via increased patrols, stop and search powers and the execution of warrants where appropriate.
As well as habitual knife carriers, officers visited those involved with neighbourhood offender management structures as well as the children associated with those individuals.
The operation also created an opportunity to provide education and share resources with families and refer them to groups and agencies where additional help and support can be accessed in a bid to improve behaviour, relationships and community relations.
It wasn’t just the police who had an impact on the families during this operation, as it was a multi-agency response. This included collaborative work with the Crime and Anti-Social Behaviour Unit, Leicester City Council’s Early Help and Prevention Service and local safeguarding services.
NPA Commander for Leicester South, Inspector Mike Cawley, said: “Operation Concord-Fan has been a real success. We were able to reach a large number of the people who cause most harm to the peace of the Eyres Monsell and Saffron Lane estates.
“These are highly populated places and I stress that it is only a small number of people who give us cause for concern, still, we do not under estimate the undue stress their activities cause for the rest of the community.
“What we have managed to achieve would not have been possible without working closely with social care and early help and prevention services. This has allowed us to create a joint strategy and relevant aftercare.”
Partnership and Service Development Manager for Leicester City Council’s Early Help and Prevention Service, Nicola Odom, said: “Op Concord-Fan has been an excellent example of partnership working and has given us as a local authority a great opportunity to engage with young people who are identified as associates of high risk offenders.
“Throughout this operation we have been able to provide appropriate interventions with an aim to reduce youth violence and children being criminally exploited.”
The young people who were visited were identified as being susceptible or already involved in Child Criminal Exploitation (CCE). Leicestershire Police has recently produced a film called Are You Listening about this concerning subject which can be found here.
If you have any concerns about a young person in your care displaying challenging or out of character behaviour, the people they associate with or the acquisition of a new or expensive lifestyle you can complete an Early Help Assessment or report to the police online.