CHESHIRE Police has said that rates of knife crime in the county are among the lowest in England.

This was revealed during the Tackling Weapons Conference which showcased the ongoing work to make Cheshire a place where no-one wants to or feels that they need to carry a weapon.

The force also highlighted the significant strides that have been made alongside its partner agencies in a bid to make Cheshire knife crime free.

Sarah Heath, Cheshire Police’s superintendent for tackling weapons and reducing serious harm, said: “The conference was inspirational and I am pleased to say that we had a fantastic turnout.

“Cheshire has one of the lowest rates of knife crime in England and is one of the few counties in England and Wales that has seen a reduction in the number of knife related offences committed in recent times.

“Our message to young people is that Cheshire is a safe place to live and there is no need for you to carry a weapon to protect yourself.

“If you do carry a knife, you are far more likely to end up getting seriously injured, or even killed.”

She added that fear and fashion are the two main reasons for young people carrying weapons and that most instances of knife crime occur during the after-school period.

Winsford Guardian:

Superintendent Sarah Heath

Cheshire Police is working alongside partners to educate young people of the dangers of carrying weapons, to steer them away from criminality and to offer them alternative ways to spend their time.

David Keane, police and crime commissioner for Cheshire, added: “The recent killings of 18-year-old Eddie O’Rourke in Runcorn and pub landlord Christian Thornton in Widnes represent ultimate examples of why people shouldn’t carry knives.

“They can turn a minor incident into something far more serious that destroys the lives of everyone involved.

“We all have to work together to ensure that no other lives are tragically lost as a result of knife crime.”

At the end of the conference at Chester Cathedral, a minute’s silence was held in commemoration of all those who have died due to knife crime.

It was held in front of the Knife Angel made from more than 100,000 surrendered knives, some of which carry the names of victims inscribed by their loved ones.

To report any type of crime involving weapons call Cheshire Constabulary on 101, 999 in an emergency or via cheshire.police.uk.

Anyone who knows someone that carries a knife can also report it to Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.