Sussex Police’s ground-breaking tool, the first of its kind in the country, aims to identify young people who are most likely to carry knives.
Habitual Knife Carriers (HKCx) index has been nationally recognised for its innovative approach to tackling serious violence.
Data from this index is considered by a range of partners including police, youth offending teams and children’s services.
This informs which young people enter the programme for one-to-one support and where to target group and outreach work.
The project features in a new report by the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC) on Innovative & Effective Approaches to Tackling Serious Violence, which highlights collaborative and evidence-based interventions that are the key to making communities safer.
The Habitual Knife Carriers project, which is funded by the Sussex Violence Reduction Partnership, has also been recognised as innovative practice by both the College of Policing and the Home Office.
Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne said: “We know that knife crime can have awful consequences and it makes people feel insecure and anxious in their own neighbourhoods.
“To carry out informed and targeted interventions, it is vital we have the right tools in place focusing on those who are vulnerable. The HKC index is a brilliant tool that helps us to tackle the root cause of a problem, understanding the motivations behind knife carrying and associated crime.
“The index helps professionals to identify young people who are most at risk, build trusting relationships with them and provide education and support to guide them in choosing alternative pathways for their futures.”
Minister for Policing, Chris Philp MP, said: “This report highlights exactly the sort of activity that we should be striving to undertake across the country to tackle this issue – innovative, grounded in evidence and focused on combatting the underlying causes of violent crime.
“When it comes to serious violence, there are no simple solutions. Instead, we must keep up a focused, forensic approach to tackling its causes and consequences.”
WATCH: The work and aims of Sussex Violence Reduction Partnership
The Sussex Violence Reduction Partnership (VRP) is an innovative partnership tackling the root causes of serious violent crime in Sussex to protect young people and make Sussex communities safer.
The VRP brings together data and expertise from Sussex Police, local authorities, the NHS including hospitals, public health, criminal justice and community organisations to identify and tackle the root causes of violent crime.
The partnership focus is on activity that seeks to prevent serious violence, building connectivity between aligned issues such as domestic abuse, exploitation, and violence against women and girls. This includes understanding and addressing the needs of victims and perpetrators of serious violence.