MKFM Exclusive: Over 250 arrests made in connection with weapon offences across 5 months in Milton Keynes

    MKFM spoke to Chief Inspector Livingstone, Deputy Commander for Milton Keynes, in an exclusive interview regarding knife crime in the city.

    In the last year, Milton Keynes has seen an increase in fatalities connected to knife crime and following a number of tragic incidents, MKFM launched 'MKFM Crime Week', with a series of exclusive interviews discussing tackling crime with key figures in the city. 

    One of the key topics discussed during the series was policing numbers throughout the city, with councillors still calling for more officers as recently as November 2022.

    Last week, in an exclusive follow-up interview with Chief Inspector Livingstone, Deputy Commander for Milton Keynes, MKFM heard that more police officers have been put into Milton Keynes.

    "More officers have been put into Milton Keynes," Chief Inspector Livingstone said. "They are specifically tasked with patrols, we utilise stop and search, not randomly picking on people but intelligence led, in the right places at the right time. We've got analytics, there's data we will look at, all where we should be putting our police officers, as well as community forums, listening to our communities and putting the police officers where they need to be.

    "We have seen a lot of weapons recovered, a lot of arrests made. Over 250 arrests have been made up until November from June. An extra 250 arrests with these officers that have been bought into Milton Keynes. And then Operation Deter."

    Following the crime week, Thames Valley Police announced the launch of Op Deter in Milton Keynes. The initiative focuses on 'prosecution, intervention and prevention'. Thames Valley Police say that the launch in Milton Keynes followed community concern about knife crime.

    Operation Deter’s main objective is to make better use of charging and remanding offenders aged over 18 to court, ensuring that a robust message is sent to anyone found in possession of a knife.

    "We've said before, and it can come across as a punchline, that if you carry a knife, you will go to custody and we mean it. We have put over 150 people before the court and the courts and the CPS are remanding people to prison. So if you are caught with a knife, and you're an adult, you will go to prison if the courts and the evidence is there to support it," Livingstone explained.

    "We know children are carrying weapons and there's all the intervention and diversion work with the council and youth offending teams and the education that we do with school's and the Sports and Education Trust at MK Dons, so it isn't just a police way to solve this."

    On Monday, the Knife Angel sculpture left Milton Keynes following a month of action against violent crime.

    The monument, also known as the Knife Angel, arrived in the city on December 2nd and was located outside the home of MK Dons, Stadium MK throughout December and into early January.

    The Knife Angel is a 27ft sculpture, made from approximately 100,000 bladed weapons collected in knife amnesty bins during police operations across the country. 

    Created by the British Ironwork Centre, the monument travels to locations around the UK as a focal point to help educate children and adults about the harmful effects that violent behaviour has on communities.

    Over 3,000 messages of reflection, condolence & pledges against violence surrounded the Knife Angel while it was in MK with over 700 people viewing the sculpture each day.

    The month of action in Milton Keynes included a partnership between Thames Valley Police, the Office for the Police and Crime Commissioner, Milton Keynes City Council, MK Dons Sports and Educational Trust and The Safety Centre Charity Hazard Alley.

    Throughout the month, the partnership hosted numerous activities, designed by those who live and work in the city to bring together schools and parents, voluntary sector organisations, places of worship, community groups, local venues and businesses to tackle violence in all its forms.

    The angel will now stand at the Arbour Park Stadium in Slough throughout the rest of January.

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