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Tackling Knives Action Programme expanded

22 July 2009

The Tackling Knives Action Programme will be expanded to include a specialist team to help tackle gang-related violence.

The Tackling Knives Action Programme (TKAP) (new window) works to stop all forms of serious violence amongst 13 – 24 year olds, and operates in 16 police force areas in England and Wales.

The expanded programme will include:

  • a police-led targeted programme of action in each TKAP area to tackle youth violence
  • 100 hospitals to share anonymous data on their knife related admissions with police by the end of this year
  • a £2m marketing campaign to raise awareness among young people of the consequences of carrying a knife 
  • an eight-part knife possession prevention programme, which includes education on the dangers of carrying knives, the law and the impact of knife crime on victims and communities 
  • £100,000 for a specialist team to work with local areas to tackle gang related problems 
  • more work to prevent homelessness among young people, and their families, affected by gang activity.

Working together to make a difference

Home Secretary Alan Johnson said, 'This is not a problem we can solve overnight but we remain totally committed to tackling youth violence that’s why we have expanded the target age group for TKAP and why we are rolling out projects to a total of 16 police force areas to address local issues. By working together – government, police, families and communities - we can make a difference and tackle the culture that can lead to violence.'

What is TKAP?

TKAP involves several government departments, who are working together to stop youth violence. The programme send a clear message that if you carry a knife, you are more likely to get caught, prosecuted and receive a tough punishment. It includes education programmes, and activities for young people to stop them becoming involved in knife crime in the first place.

Police intelligence collected from the areas where TKAP is running suggests that while the likelihood of young people being involved in serious violence remains rare, the risks may vary between age groups.

For example, younger teenagers are more likely to be affected on the street, particularly in the time after school, whereas older teenagers and people in their early twenties are more likely to be affected when out and about in or outside bars and clubs, particularly on Friday and Saturday nights.

Youth violence information

Findings from a report compiled during the first phase of TKAP (July 2008 – March 2009) found:

  • for victims aged 19 and under, there was a 17% reduction in the number of recorded violence offences that involved sharp instruments (excluding robbery) compared with the same period the previous year
  • provisional NHS hospital admission statistics indicate a 32% drop in admissions for assault with a sharp object aged 19 compared with the same period in the previous year.

Read the full report on the Home Office Research, Development and Statistics website.

Youth Crime Action Plan – One Year On

The government has also published a follow-up to the Youth Crime Action Plan - One Year On - which sets out the progress we’ve made in tackling youth crime, and describes the action we will take over the next year.

It focuses on three key areas:

  • preventing young people offending by tackling problems such as alcohol or truancy early and providing positive and exciting things for them to do, particularly on Friday and Saturday nights 
  • more support to address causes of bad behaviour including non-negotiable support for families whose children are getting into trouble 
  • tough enforcement, involving police working closely with other services on the streets and issuing punishments that local communities have confidence in.

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