PCC statement following Swindon’s latest knife death
Wiltshire’s PCC has said yesterday’s murder of an 18-year-old man in Swindon and the arrest of a 14-year-old teenager was a double tragedy.
Philip Wilkinson, Wiltshire and Swindon’s Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “My thoughts are first and foremost with the family and friends of an 18-year-old man – murdered in Haydon End yesterday afternoon (Sunday) but also with the families of those involved in the crime. There are multiple victims in this horrendous murder.
“Understandably, the instance of yet another murder due to knife crime in Swindon has caused shockwaves in the local community and I want to provide reassurance that Wiltshire Police acted swiftly in arresting the suspects in this case and are doing their utmost to prevent a further occurrence of this senseless violence.
“I have spoken with the Chief Constable about this case and impressed upon him the need to reinforce his neighbourhood policing teams if we are to tackle the underlying causes of knife crime. Greater police visibility and the increase in frontline officers will start to have effect as more come through the training system to our neighbourhood teams.
"All powers at the police’s disposal are being fully considered and I would expect to see an increased use of Stop and Search powers to target these vile individuals who carry a knife to intimidate and harm.
“Of course, tackling knife crime isn’t just about robust policing – although that is where the focus in Swindon is in the immediate aftermath and rightly so - but also about looking at the root causes and ensuring all partners are working together.
“The Force and my office are working with schools and councils to create an education and engagement package to support what our Neighbourhood Policing Team already does and we also need parents to really step up and be wise, open to what their children may be doing and what weapons they may be carrying too.
“Young people, especially teenagers, need to feel safe and it needs to be reinforced at every level that carrying knives isn’t the answer to the issues they are facing.”