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Sheffield stabbings: ‘We are all proud of our city, so let’s work together to reduce crime’

Everyone has to take pride in Sheffield and pull together to help stem the rising tide in the number of violent crimes across the city.

That’s the message from Det Supt Una Jennings, South Yorkshire Police’s lead for knife crime, following five stabbings in three days across the city.

Det Supt Una Jennings

Det Supt Una Jennings

Det Supt Jennings said: “People are right to be indignant about the situation – it's not good enough. That said, let’s share a responsibility for sorting it out then because if it was as easy as a police solution, believe you and me, we would be doing it.

“We have to have an ambition for ourselves as a city for something a bit more than we have at the minute.”

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The detective said education, early intervention and parents speaking to children were all important in reducing the amount of violent crime across the city.

She added: “The criminal justice response is a last resort. By the time we are dealing with the criminological aspects of it, lots of other things have failed.

“We are working in schools and need to let our young people know that there are more at risk of becoming a victim by carrying a knife.”

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Det Supt Jennings said the force would ‘always consider’ imposing extra stop and search powers but the answer lied with education and stressing how dangerous knives can be.

She added: “We are taking a public health approach to it. We will always consider things like the Section 60 stop and search powers and we will always consider intelligence-led stop and search operations but the key to this for us in Sheffield is identifying the root causes of this kind of criminality and getting upstream of those.

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“A lot of that is about attitude change and educating our young people in our homes, in our schools, and in our faith communities about the consequences of knife crime and challenging them to make it as socially unacceptable to carry a knife as it would be to put your baby in the back of your car without a car seat.

“We have to get that mindset across and that happens on your mother’s knee and that’s the key bit for us locally.”