by Gary Powers, Managing Director of Regency Security
As repeatedly reported in the news and discussed by the Home Office, knife crime in England and Wales is rising and it continues to bring increasing concerns. These concerns are not just around public safety, they also bring additional concerns around people’s perceptions about bars and clubs.
Security teams are now carrying out additional searches. 100% searches are made at certain locations using either security detector wands or multi-zone walk-through detectors, which you see at airports. With these increased measures, some people think that the venue has trouble, where in fact it’s probably looking to reduce the risk.
This issue also increases overall costs, with the additional security required to carry out more searches, additional equipment and extra personal protective equipment for the security officers such as stab vests and Kevlar gloves.
Whilst most media channels often report on bigger cities like London and Birmingham, reports show other areas of the UK are also seeing an increase to knife crime. For every 100,000 people in the capital, there were 168 knife offences in 2017-18. Out of the 44 police forces, 42 recorded a rise in knife crime since 2011.
Last month, with interest I listened to Sajid Javid, the Home Secretary’s speech on Violent Crime. He said that on an almost weekly basis, we wake up to the news that another person has been stabbed, that robbery is on the rise, that serious violent crime is on the up. I also read in a recent YouGov poll that for the first time, crime was a more important issue to the public than health. Last year saw a 14% increase in homicides a 15% increase in hospital admissions for assaults involving a sharp instrument.
Keeping the public safe has always been a key part of being a Door Supervisor and now with the rise in knife crime everyone needs to be extremely vigilant, especially with concealed offensive weapons. At the end of the day it is the Door Supervisors responsibility for the protection of life, protection of property and premises, the prevention of loss and to prevent and to deter crime.
Nowadays an offensive weapon is very different to what they used to be, they have become very clever and you come across many adapted weapons for causing injury. We have found home-made knives, screwdrivers, sharpened combs or brushes, sharpened belts and knives that are the same size as a credit card.
Examples of concealed weapons or often known as defence weapons
It is everyone’s responsibility to help reduce knife crime. We need continued educational programs in schools, more media campaigns, people need to take positive action when someone is aware of criminal behaviour using Crimestoppers or reporting directly to the Police, making retail changes to stop selling knifes to the wrong people and challenge the why, finally banning concealed weapons which must be removed from circulation.