Knife crimes higher than ever

MORE knife crimes are being committed in Suffolk than ever before, new figures reveal today.Police in Ipswich deal with an average of two knife crimes each week with the number of incidents in the town involving bladed weapons up by 18 per cent between 2002 and 2004.

MORE knife crimes are being committed in Suffolk than ever before, new figures reveal today.

Police in Ipswich deal with an average of two knife crimes each week with the number of incidents in the town involving bladed weapons up by 18 per cent between 2002 and 2004.

Although some of these crimes simply relate to possession of knives, others have been linked with offences including murder, rape and kidnapping.

Jason Gillingham, a paramedic based in the town, said his crews are being called to increasing numbers of incidents where people have been wounded.


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He said: "When I started in the ambulance service about ten years ago stabbings and knife-related incidents were a rare occurrence. I think I probably went about two years without attending that type of incident.

"Now we can be seeing that type of thing four or five times a month. There has definitely been a steep increase in this type of thing in the Ipswich area in the last few years and our crews are becoming much more used to dealing with it."

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Although alarmed at the rise in crimes involving knives, Mr Gillingham said serious attacks remain rare.

"The vast majority of these kind of events do not result in life-threatening injuries," he said.

"The person may need a lot of stitches or even plastic surgery but they are usually quite superficial wounds."

The knife crime figures were obtained by The Evening Star under the Freedom of Information Act.

Despite the increase, Suffolk police spokesman Simon Stevens said Ipswich is a safe place on the whole.

He said: "Suffolk is a safe county in which to live and work - and crimes involving knives are relatively rare compared to many other areas of the country.

"However, these incidents are treated seriously. The Constabulary has run - and will continue to run - knife amnesties in which members of the public can hand in knives, without fear of prosecution, to help take weapons off the street.

"Tackling violent crime which occurs in public places, including those incidents that involve knives, remains a top priority for Suffolk Constabulary."

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