Mayor Enlists University Aid in Knife Crime Battle

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Bristol’s Mayor has sought the assistance of academics from the University of Bristol to confront the city’s escalating knife crime problem, urging them to apply their “intellectual firepower” in devising solutions.

Addressing a recent forum, Mayor Marvin Rees reiterated the Bristol City Council’s commitment to tackling knife crime through a public health approach, highlighting the challenge of demonstrating tangible results for the council’s various initiatives.

In response to queries from Green Councillor Mohamed Makawi, representing Cotham, Mayor Rees underscored the significant role played by local establishments such as gyms and youth charities in confiscating knives from young individuals. He referenced reports received by the council regarding incidents of confiscated knives.

“We have a quality of life survey within the city as well for that broader question of how safe do people feel. We’re not just working to prevent knife crime, we’re working to build communities,” stated Mayor Rees, acknowledging the multifaceted nature of the challenge. He recognised the inherent difficulty in quantifying the success of preventive measures, emphasising the importance of a rigorous and data-driven approach.

Mayor Rees revealed that the council had engaged with the University of Bristol to utilise their policy expertise and analytical capabilities in addressing the issue. A recent meeting involving representatives from universities, police, and the voluntary sector focused on enhancing data utilisation and analytical rigour in combatting crime.

The latest findings from the council’s quality of life survey paint a concerning picture, indicating a growing sense of insecurity among Bristolians. Twenty-one per cent of respondents expressed feeling affected by fear of crime in their day-to-day lives, marking an increase from previous years. Similarly, the perception of the effectiveness of local law enforcement and public services in tackling crime has declined, with only 21 per cent of respondents considering them successful, down from 22 per cent in 2022 and 28 per cent in 2021.

These sentiments were particularly pronounced among respondents residing in the city’s economically disadvantaged areas, underscoring the need for targeted interventions to address disparities in safety perceptions across communities.

In light of these findings, Mayor Rees’s call for collaborative action and academic input in addressing knife crime resonates with the pressing need for innovative and evidence-based solutions. As Bristol grapples with the complex challenge of crime prevention and community safety, the involvement of diverse stakeholders, including academic institutions, holds promise in shaping effective strategies to combat the scourge of knife crime and foster safer communities for all residents.

Dawn Jackson
Dawn Jackson
Journalist Dawn is an experienced business journalist specializing in regional coverage across the United Kingdom. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for uncovering stories that impact local communities, Dawn brings a unique perspective to her work. Through her insightful reporting, she keeps readers informed about the latest developments in various regions, shedding light on the economic landscape and entrepreneurial endeavours. Dawn's dedication to delivering accurate and engaging business news makes her a valuable asset to the News Write Ups team.

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