Hertfordshire Police and Crime Commissioner.  
Commissioner's Office: 01707 806100
Watch my BBC interview on how we are tackling knife crime in Herts
The BBC Look East -West TV took an in-depth look at the work of the  report on the work of the  Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Children and Young Persons Gangs and Schools Team about the risks of getting involved in gangs.
 
The Lives not Knives event was held at Hertfordshire University on last week, and is the latest in a series of events planned to make young people in the county aware of the terrible consequences of getting involved with gangs and violent crime.



The evening had to a powerful and poignant address by Tracey and Brooke Hanson from The Josh Hanson Trust. Tracey’s son, Josh, was murdered in an unprovoked knife attack in 2015. Tracey recounted the traumatic experience of losing a child to knife crime and the devastating effect that this has had on her family.

The previous event was also attended by Chief Constable for Hertfordshire, Charlie Hall, and Police and Crime Commissioner, David Lloyd, who provided extra funding to grow the Constabulary’s response to gang and violent crime.
 
Detective Insp Anna Borella, Sergeant Helen Croughton, Brooke Hanson, Gavin McKenna, Tracy Hanson, PC Claire Jones, PS Pete Kendall and PCSO Lindsay Cunningham.

After the event refreshments were provided thanks to Broxbourne Borough Council and Herts Sports Partnership, YC Herts and Fearless were there to offer a variety of positive activities for the young people to engage with and to empower them to make change.

Chief Insp Steve O’Keefe, Sergeant Rachel Brown, PCC David Lloyd,  Detective Insp Anna Borella, Chief Constable Charlie Hall 

Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire, David Lloyd said: “We know that intervening early and preventing people from entering the criminal justice system is key to reducing demand and achieving better outcomes for individuals and families.

“Knife crime is relatively low compared to neighbouring areas, but it is not something that our communities are immune too. It is an area that we have to tackle and I have made it a priority for the constabulary this year.

Brooke Hanson and Tracy Hanson who lost family members to knife crime

“Through additional investment, a larger team of police officers are being deployed to work in schools and with young people to address serious violence. Each district and borough will have at least one named police officer to provide early intervention work.”

Sergeant Helen Croughton from the Gangs and Schools team said: “These events inform young people about the reality of knife crime and gang related violence, which can often be conveyed as glamorous. By hearing first-hand accounts of how devastating the lifestyle has been to other people’s lives, the young people attending are shown the reality rather than the facade.  The speakers all have first-hand experience of knife crime or gang violence which really has an impact on young people and encourages them to make positive choices and recognise dangerous situations and friendships.
 
“Once again I would like to thank every speaker who attended and shared their story, Hertfordshire University and our partner agencies who made this event possible. We would also like to thank the young people who attended the event. We will continue to work with those at risk of gang affiliation and associated criminality to help them achieve positive change.”
 
Anyone who is concerned about gang or knife crime can call the Hertfordshire Constabulary non-emergency number 101. Young people who need help and advice about these issues can visit: www.herts.police.uk/cyp.