Many of Gloucestershire’s main opinion formers and policy makers will meet on Friday (10 March) to consider issues around crimes of violence in the county. To facilitate honest discussion, the meeting at the University of Gloucestershire will take place under Chatham House Rule, and is not open to the media.

Gloucestershire’s Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Chris Brierley has brought together a wide cross section of voices from the criminal justice, health, education, social and political sectors.

They will hear the provisional findings of research carried out by policy experts Cityforum and the University of Gloucestershire which will assess how big an issue it is for the county and the reasons why young people feel the need to carry knives.

Despite the fact that Gloucestershire is a relatively safe place to live, the county has seen some high profile cases involving knives in the last few years

Their task will be to continue the debate to try to find a sustainable solution to the number of shocking events which have resulted in death and serious injury.

Mr. Brierley said, “Media demands for instant reaction means that every outrage requires a response. We [Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner] understand that but by taking a more measured approach, we hope to find more meaningful and lasting solutions.

“This is not just about knife crime. Although that is one problem that isn’t going away, it’s not a new one. By drawing on a wide range of experience, we hope to establish the causes for it; find the most effective ways to educate people away from it and draw on best practices to achieve that.

“There is no doubt the county has seen some high profile cases involving knives in the last few years. But I hope the research will also help put those dreadful cases into context because Gloucestershire is a safe place to live compared to many others.

“There is lots of good work going-on locally through organisations like Increase the Peace; the Hollie Gazzard trust and projects like Great Expectations. I hope this summit will enable us to build on that”.

Notes to Editors