POLICE in Bournemouth are working with businesses in the nighttime economy to tackle knife crime.
Operation Nightjar began in July and focuses on engaging the licensed businesses to encourage them to be proactive to cut down on knife crime in the area.
The operation sits alongside the neighbourhood policing team’s Operation Fireglow, which aims to tackle anti-social behaviour, drugs and knife crime in Bournemouth town centre.
Inspector for the neighbourhood team Adrian Thompson said while the force has not seen a large rise in knife crime, it is keen to get on top of it before it does rise.
“There’s very much a perception on the risks around knife crime. It’s a national issue, it’s very well reported that knife crime is a problem that the police are trying to tackle,” he said.
“We’re reassuring people that we are out there dealing with it but it’s nothing that is to worry about in the town.
“We have officers out later on, from 8pm, they will be going to all the licensed premises to engage with them and make sure they’re using their security measures as well.
“They all have access to wands, they all have access to knife arches if they need them, they can make their venues safer as well.
“It’s just getting that message out there that knives aren’t welcome in Bournemouth and we will do what we can.”
Acting Inspector on patrol Dan Cullen said Nightjar involves officers patrolling the nighttime economy, particularly focused on the Old Christchurch Road area.
“Part of that is they will be speaking to most if not all of the nighttime economy venues, so that’s the pubs, the clubs,” Acting Insp. Cullen said.
“Our licensing team have already had some contact with them about this.
“What we’re requesting is that all of the pubs and clubs are proactive in using the metal detectors.
“We want that proactive approach. We would much rather see someone leave a queue or discard a knife and we recover it and deal with that offence, rather they take a weapon into a club and then there’s a stabbing.
“That bit of proactive work that may recover knives, get people to think twice about whether they’re carrying a weapon or using a weapon, that high visibility presence and that engagement with partners.
“That’s what we’re trying to achieve, and it can make a massive difference.”
(Source: Daily Echo)