FOI 25102023-1 – Knife Crime


Please supply the following information, under the FOI Act.

What is the Police and Crime Commissioner currently doing to combat knife crime?

Please supply details of current initiatives.

What has been spent (£) on these initiatives?

Please supply figures for the past five years (calendar or financial) — from 2018 to the present.


I can confirm that the Office of the Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner (OPFCC) does hold the information requested.

In 2016 a Director for Early Intervention was appointed to help the OPFCC lead on work that responded to the needs of individuals, children and families at the earliest opportunity to reduce harm and risk and lessen the likelihood that people will become victims or perpetrators of crime.

A key aspect to the work undertaken to combat knife crime in Northamptonshire is the specialist Early Intervention team, employed by the Office of the Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner (OPFCC), which provides additional support to families and vulnerable young people who are at increased risk of becoming victims of crime or are likely to get involved in criminal behaviour. The Early Intervention Family Support team provide a range of preventative services targeting families where there are issues with domestic incidents, risk of exclusion from school or involvement in crime, and issues of concern referred by other professionals in the county. This critical work is integral to the Police, Fire and Crime Plan commitment to divert young people away from crime and safeguard them from criminal exploitation.

Early Intervention Support Officers also work alongside police officers in the CIRV initiative and are the first point of contact for young people referred to it. They work with colleagues across a range of partner organisations to ensure young people receive tailored support for their needs. The Early Intervention support officers offer one to one intervention with young people to help them to understand the impact of their behaviour and to plan ways of changing their behaviour in a safe way. Examples of the support that the team give are:

  • Understanding how their adverse childhood experiences have impacted lives.
  • Understanding criminal exploitation and how it can affect them and their friends and families.
  • Knife Crime – impact of carrying knives, the law and risks.
  • Risky behaviours – understanding what they are and the impact.
  • Understanding their own emotions and developing strategies to manage in a safer way.
  • Supporting parents to understand the risks of Criminal Exploitation and how they can help to reduce risk.

In addition to this, the OPFCC Youth team works with young people across the county in areas and schools which have been identified as priority areas by Community Safety Partnerships for crime and anti-social behaviour. The team undertake outreach activities and receive referrals from professionals who are concerned about behaviour, absence from school or have identified possible risks of exploitation. The Youth Team also undertake educative group work sessions in schools with input on knife crime, exploitation, online safety, healthy and unhealthy relationships.

In May 2020 we provided £50k funds to the Force to roll out better OSARA problem solving training to all Neighbourhood Policing Teams officers and PCSO. While this training will of course be utilised in a wider range of scenarios it was aimed at addressing Force Priorities one of which was Knife Crime and Serious Violence.

2020-21 – Committing an additional £100k to support the Force in tackling knife crime.


  • The OPFCC was also involved in the County Schools Challenge which used a card game about knife crime invented by a local young person as part of work to address this issue.
  • At the end of July 2021, The OPFCC Youth Team commenced the delivery of a summer programme. It specifically focused on educating young people on key issues such as: knife crime, internet safety, alcohol and drug misuse, keeping safe, antisocial behaviour and the law. They also developed countywide contextual safeguarding gang forums to allow a collective school approach in identifying early warning signs, supporting and educating young people to be diverted away from gang involvement early on, therefore avoiding escalation into specialist services.  In addition to this, they established targeted work within specific building settings; to have a safe and consistent environment for young people. All sessions will have a primary intensive focus on knife crime, county lines, alcohol and drug misuse and anti-social behaviour in the community. Finally, they convened a workshop with key partners across the County aimed at ensuring a joined-up approach to tackling knife crime.

Over 2021/2022 and 2022/2023 we provided £10k to a premier league kicks programme to support diversion activities for young people. Part of this related to gang involvement and knife crime across a number of locations in the County. This was match funded to Home Office funds provided under the Safer Streets Programme.

In 2022 we provided £20k to the Force for a DAX media campaign aimed at reducing the incidence of knife carrying.

In 2023 we provided £15k to the Force for a Knife Crime media campaign aimed at encouraging young people not to carry knives.

  • As part of Safer Streets Round 4, Queensway bid, we funded a ‘Fearless’ campaign across the estate. Fearless is a strand of Crimestoppers which is targeted at 13–17-year-olds and which aims to tackle knife crime. The campaign consisted of social media messaging, artwork at Queensway bus stops and an Ad Van parked at various locations, across Queensway, on the launch day of the campaign displaying Fearless messaging.
  • A theatre company called ‘Skin Deep’ also performed an anti-knife crime production to Years 9 & 10 at Weavers Academy. All this activity took place in February 2023.
  • This campaign was part of a wider Crimestoppers campaign to tackle knife & acquisitive crime and cost a total of £10,060. Approx £6,480 of this was dedicated to knife crime.
  • We have also launched a Youth Violence and Knife Crime Grant in conjunction with WNC. The voluntary and community sector were able to apply for up to £10,000 for projects to mitigate youth violence and knife crime.
  • We have assessed the applications and committed to a total of £47,107 with WNC match funding the other 50% taking the total grant to £94,214, across eleven projects.



£1m from within the PFCC initiatives reserve was allocated in 2022/23 and in principle a similar amount for the following two years to address the following:


  • Prevention and support for Violence against Women and Girls
  • Supporting victims of Domestic and Sexual Violence
  • Crime Prevention
  • Working together with partners to tackle and reduce knife crime.
  • Increased investment in Youth and Early Intervention work


  • The Early Intervention Team undertook work to educate young people about the risks of being groomed into a gang and the repercussions of carrying a knife, as well as setting up forums to work with schools in identifying early warning signs of gang involvement. This work meant that the force is now getting better levels of youth engagement and intelligence.
  • Another key priority for the team was to work with young people who are on the cusp of becoming NEET or are NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training). We work with young people to build their career aspiration and address concerns which inhibits them from engaging with the education system. Other focus areas include providing support relating to gang awareness and knife crime.
  • Drop-in sessions have been offered in schools around the county. The sessions are offered as a carousel in schools to address concerns within year groups. The focus and some of the themes covered are related to sex and relationships, knife crime sessions and how they could keep themselves safe.
  • Youth Football Tournament – Children and teenagers from two Northamptonshire estates took part in a football tournament which also helped educate them on the dangers of knife crime and joining gangs. The tournament was organised as part of a Week of Action by Northamptonshire Police targeting serious violence.
  • In May 2022 the Knife Angel, a national monument against violence and aggression made from 100,000 knives, was brought to Northamptonshire. The impressive statue was displayed in Northampton and Corby as well as at an event in Wellingborough and heralded the launch of a month of activities across the county aimed at raising awareness and educating people about the impact of knife and violent crime. This was achieved through £10k of funding from the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, working in partnership with local charity C2C Social Action, West Northamptonshire Council and North Northamptonshire Council.


  • Knife Intervention Assemblies – Working in partnership with the Neighbourhood Policing teams the OPFCC Early Intervention Support Officers who support the CIRV programme have delivered this intervention to 140 young people.
  • Multi Agency Drop Down days – This project sees the Youth team working alongside other agencies delivering educational input to whole school year groups. This helps prepare young people in the transition to Secondary School, looking at making positive and safe choices. The input also covers gangs, knife crime, sexual health, contraception and Anti-social behaviour. This project is delivered with the Police, Fire, NGAGE (drug and alcohol service) and Youth Offending Service.