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Police deny Redbridge will experience a knife crime spike this summer after campaigner’s claims

17:20 14 July 2014

Police have quashed fears from a leading anti-knife campaigner who said he would “not be surprised” if there was a rise in blade-related crime in Redbridge during the summer holidays.

Danny O’Brien, of Seven Kings, founder of Anti-Knife UK, said there was the possibility of a rise in knife crime amongst children who were susceptible to boredom during the extended school break.

But Redbridge Police moved quickly this week to disparage Mr O’Brien’s claims, pointing to the fact there were no arrests during Operation Big Wing on June 25 for any knife crime.

Detective Chief Inspector John Fish, from Redbridge neighbourhood policing teams, said: “Crime in Redbridge has fallen over the past year, with knife crime down by 18 per cent. It remains one of the safest boroughs in London.

“There is no evidence to suggest there are any matters specific to Redbridge that will push knife crime up in any one area.”

Mr O’Brien had initially said: “Knife crime is not disappearing – it is getting worse. It spikes during school holidays.

“I would not be surprised if there was a spike in Redbridge with six weeks holiday and a lot of kids hanging out on the street – they get bored.”

Mr O’Brien set up Anti-Knife UK in 2008 because he “got fed up about hearing about youths on the street”.

Last month, MP Nick de Bois for Enfield North spoke to Mr O’Brien about the ongoing issue before talking in Parliament on June 17 about amending the sentencing imposed for carrying a knife.

Redbridge Police did confirm it was planning a series of operations over the summer focusing on areas most vulnerable to become venues for violent crime.

Last year more than 50 per cent of murders were committed with knives and 43 per cent of the UK’s knife related offences took place in London.

Police claim knife crime offences have reduced by 11.5 per cent with 1,300 fewer offences, which is the lowest total in the last seven years.

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