Policing experts gather in Liverpool to tackle knife crime as incidents rise


Police and crime experts from across the North of England will meet in Liverpool later this month as part of a drive to tackle the region’s growing knife crime epidemic.

According to a report by the BBC, there has been a sharp increase in the number of offences outside of London, with places such as Liverpool, Manchester and Blackpool among the top 25 most dangerous places for knife crime in the country. Similarly in Lancashire, the figures show knife crime has more than doubled in five years, rising from 455 offences in 2014, to 981 in 2018.

In response to this growing issue, policing knife crime will be placed under the spotlight during the N8 Policing Research Partnerships fifth annual Policing Innovation Forum (PIF).

The PIF, which takes place on Thursday 14th November at Everton FC’s Goodison Park, will bring together key academics, police and stakeholders to discuss challenges in policing knife crime and to develop innovative and practical solutions. The aim for the forum is to encourage greater discussion and innovative research in relation to tackling knife crime, including a range of workshops in which other preventative approaches will be explored.

Those taking part include:

  • Everton in the Community, the award-winning charitable arm of Everton who have been working with both Merseyside Police and Cheshire Police engaging young people who are vulnerable to criminal exploitation and working in partnership with the police in the introduction of early intervention programmes.
  • Will Linden, Deputy Director of Violence Reduction Unit Scotland, who will talk about the benefits of taking a ‘public health’ approach to violence.
  • Superintendent Sarah Heath, Cheshire Police, who has been leading a project in Runcorn in response to knife crime incidents demonstrating how much can be achieved with multi agency partners and young people to make a real difference.

The event adopts an innovative design that starts with workshops focusing on early intervention in several areas and concludes with sessions focusing on how academics, police and other partners can develop research networks and access research funds.

The knife crime workshops at the forum are:

  • John Valentine, partnership manager, StreetDoctors: Making national interventions relevant locally
  • Clare McGregor, founder of Coaching Inside and Out (CIAO); Knife crime: a double-edged challenge. Solutions from the heart of the problem
  • Lee Berry, superintendent, Violence Reduction Unit, South Yorkshire Police: The challenges of setting up a Violence Reduction Unit: a police and partnership perspective

 Professor Adam Crawford, director of the N8PRP, said: “Knife crime remains one of the biggest threats facing society today. It seems that almost every day we hear reports of a new incident of a fatal stabbing and tragic loss of life somewhere in the UK as a result of knife crime, with the North in particular containing some of the country’s most challenging areas.

“This year’s Policing Innovation Forum will look at this very challenging, but important topic and explore preventative approaches. We want to encourage open discussion and knowledge exchange between academics, practitioners and key stakeholders that can help us to innovate new approaches to policing knife crime.

“We will hear many real life examples of where knife crime has blighted lives and communities and how organisations such as Everton in The Community and StreetDoctors are working with police forces and those directly affected by this pervasive crime to make a long-lasting difference.

“The forum is a truly exceptional opportunity to influence and open up new networks in the industry. By encouraging these new partnerships, we can help to ensure a more joined up response to tackling knife crime, which shows little sign of abating, and ensure that the application of research can be put into practice on the front line.”

Delegates will have the opportunity to sign up to two of the workshops on the day. A limited number of tickets are still available for this year’s forum and can be booked here.