Carrying a knife can have life changing and devastating consequences.
If you set foot in public with a knife – or indeed anything that could be used as a weapon – you not only endanger other people’s lives but also your own.
If someone with a knife gets caught up in an argument or fight, there’s every chance that a knife could be used to injure or kill someone.
One life affected by knife crime is one too many.
Serious youth violence and knife crime has a devastating impact on communities and needs to continually be addressed and ultimately stopped.
As a crime reduction sergeant I’m involved in supporting the organisation in proactively spreading the message to young people in particular, about the risks to themselves from carrying a knife and the reasons they should use the knife surrender bins.
My job is about assisting the crime reduction team in getting to the root of crime within our county and ensuring that organisations such as the police, the council, the fire service, Neighbourhood Watch and many others are all working together towards one aim, reducing crime within Bedfordshire.
We know that issues can rarely be solved by one agency working on its own. I ensure that from a crime reduction perspective organisations are working together to share information and to develop an action plan to drive forward community safety and crime reduction.
One of my roles involves the management of the knife surrender bins across the county. The knife bins are situated at different locations around Bedfordshire which are there to give people the opportunity to dispose of knives and weapons. This is an initiative that has been running for a number of years in order to try and reduce knife crime within Bedfordshire. For this initiative to continue to succeed it needs to be actively led by our community and particularly our young people.
We need to work to change the lives of the young people of Bedfordshire who too often end up seriously injured or even dead on our streets, or are somehow forced into a life of violence and crime. Youth violence is a very complex issue and as such we need to continue working towards tackling the causes, not just the symptoms. We need to engage young people’s minds to think carefully about their decisions and consequences around knives and their lives.
It is great to be part of a team who can really make a difference within the community of Bedfordshire. I love getting to see the benefit of the changes we make within our county to make it a safer place to live and socialise.
Sgt Ben Dimmock has been a police officer for 13 years. During this period he has worked in a variety of roles including working as a detective, a tutor, and a ports officer. In January 2016 he took up a temporary acting sergeant role on the community safety and crime reduction team.
Bedfordshire Police is running a six week knife surrender that gives people the opportunity to get rid of their knives in an anonymous way, and is part of a police-led campaign around serious youth violence. Find out more about how you can bin the blade.