A detective previously based with Newark CID has been appointed to a new role to co-ordinate Nottinghamshire Police’s fight against knife crime.
Detective Superintendent Simon Firth will be the force’s knife crime strategy manager, bringing together all aspects of education, engagement and enforcement.
He will also pursue best practice in tackling knife crime and introduce new measures to help reduce the number of people carrying knives and incidents where injury is caused by knives.
The force is currently the only one outside the Metropolitan Police with a dedicated Knife Crime Team and has already given advice to other forces on dealing with the issue.
Detective Superintendent Firth’s role, which officially starts next week, will further build on the force’s proactive approach.
The appointment comes as Nottinghamshire Police today began its support of Operation Sceptre, a national campaign on knife crime throughout this week.
Detective Superintendent Firth said: “In recent years, sadly there appears to have been a change in the way people think about knife possession, which means we are finding more young people who are willing to carry knives — whether they are carrying them with the intention of using them in a crime or they have a misguided belief it will ‘protect’ them.
“As a partnership and as a society in general we need to work out how we bring about a fundamental shift in that perception.
“Partnership working is key to doing that and a big part of my role will be to join forces with partners, including the health service, local authorities, charities, schools and the communities themselves, to develop a team mentality to tackling this issue.”
Chief Constable Craig Guildford said: “Tackling knife crime has got to be a priority for us all, and Simon’s role will enable him to bring together experts from all areas of society — such as education, health, and social care, to supporting families directly — to co-ordinate activity and tackle this challenging issue.
“As a police force our role is to pursue knife crime offenders and protect the public, however, if we can get to a place where together we are preventing knife crime from happening in the first place, that is where I want us to be.”
Mr Paddy Tipping, Nottinghamshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “This new role will boost the work of the Knife Crime Team while gaining an insight into new and innovative approaches used to tackle and prevent this type of crime.
“I am delighted that Simon has accepted the job. He brings a huge amount of experience and local knowledge to the role and I look forward to working with him.”