Skip to content Skip to menu
Open and Transparent Quality Mark 2016/17, 2017/18, 2018/19 and 2019/20
YouTube Instagram LinkedIm

Our duty to tackle violent crime

I was deeply saddened to read about the multiple stabbings in Bodmin in the early hours of May 1.

Our duty to tackle violent crime

This terrible incident left one dead and seven others injured and shocked a community which is unused to such violence.

The fact that incidents of this type are relatively rare in Devon and Cornwall will come as little comfort to a grieving family and those wounded and traumatised in this stabbing.

Cornwall has a deserving reputation as a friendly and safe county but several such crimes recently have challenged this perception. Last month a man was stabbed in Looe, there was a stabbing in Falmouth and a woman was arrested in Truro for carrying an offensive weapon.

The facts that these incidents have been reported in the local media show that they still have the power to shock. Sadly, they would not warrant so much attention in some of Britain’s big cities.

I remain fully supportive of our new Chief Constable’s approach. He wants visible policing in our communities and supports tactics like stop and search. This sometimes controversial tactic is an example of police using their unique powers to challenge those who may be carrying weapons, drugs, stolen goods or items which may be used in crimes. When implemented appropriately it keeps people safe.

Operation Loki is one of the force’s recent responses to antisocial behaviour, drugs and violent crime. It involves high profile police patrols in areas of Devon and Cornwall where crime rates are higher than average.

In recent weeks this operation has seen 348 community engagement events, 95 people have been searched, 65 licensed premises have been searched and 100 arrests have been made.

All too often drugs and violence go hand in hand as gangs fight over territories. That’s why both are priorities in my police and crime plan. Officers working on Operation Loki have seized cocaine, heroin, crack and other illegal and dangerous substances in just a few weeks.

They are working regionally with four other forces on Operation Scorpion, to prevent the influx of drugs which fuels so much other crime. In a little over a year these forces have taken drugs worth more than £1m out of circulation, seized a vast array of weapons and  made 388 arrests.

But tackling violence is not just a police responsibility. It must be challenged robustly by everyone in society.

The Serious Violence Prevention Partnership I helped to set up is doing some great work with young people to educate them about the risks involved in becoming involved in violence. In the past year it has supported more than 1,500 vulnerable young people, engaged with 140 families and delivered 32 projects aimed at preventing youth violence.

I also have a key role in commissioning victim services which have offered help and support to those affected by the Bodmin stabbings and all victims of crime, whether those crimes have been reported or not.

My other key role is to ensure the Chief Constable has the resources available for him to prevent crime and detect and pursue those responsibility for it. It is thanks to the Police Uplift Programme that operations like Loki and Scorpion can go ahead.

Violence is affecting communities up and down the country and we are not immune from its reach. By introducing the Serious Violence Duty the Government has made tackling it a national priority, granting Police and Crime Commissioners new powers to convene partners to tackle it. I pledge to do my utmost to stamp it out in our very special part of the world.

If you have been affected by crime and want free help and support visit the Devon and Cornwall Victim Care website at