Young People Get Valuable Information on Gun and Knife Crime
On Tuesday 12 January Newry, Mourne & Down Policing & Community Safety Partnership (PCSP) arranged for the PSNI’s Armed Response Vehicle Unit to visit young people in the Ballymote Sports & Wellbeing Centre. This visit was organised as part of the on-going Community Safety Action Plan for the Ballymote area. Young people from other estates in Downpatrick and Killyleagh also attended the event.
During the visit, the Officers described their roles in the PSNI and how they work in the community. However, the main purpose of the visit was to outline the implications of gun and knife crime.
The PSNI informed the young people that the Justice Minister, David Ford, has recently introduced new legislation on gun and knife crime. The legislation states that anyone caught in possession of a knife on school premises, or armed with any offensive weapon, with the intent to commit a crime could face a four year jail term.
The PSNI Officers reinforced the fact that they have the power to search anyone suspected of carrying a knife and if anyone is found to be in possession of guns or knives they will be convicted of a crime and receive a criminal record.
The PSNI Officers further explained to the audience that a criminal record can have various implications on their futures, such as being refused entry into foreign countries in later years.
Vice-chair of the PCSP, Dan McEvoy stated that, “Although knife crime in Northern Ireland has reduced in the past year, there were still over 800 incidents involving knives or bladed weapons which equates to at least two incidents per day. Figures show that knives have been used in 35% of murders or attempted murders and 20% of robberies. These statistics are very worrying and I believe that educating young people of these dangers can help to eliminate this crime.”
For further information contact the Policing & Community Safety Partnership, Newry, Mourne & Down District Council by telephoning 0300 013 2233.