Police commissioner responds to Burgess Hill knife incident
Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne has responded to news that a teenage girl was charged with possession of a knife in Burgess Hill this week.
Mid Sussex Police said on Monday (April 1), that a 15-year-old girl had been charged with possessing a lock knife and assaulting an emergency worker, after officers responded to a report of antisocial behaviour.
A spokesman said: “A 15-year-old girl has been charged with possession of a lock knife and assaulting a police officer after she was arrested in The Marlets, Burgess Hill, on Sunday (March 31).
“The girl who cannot be identified has been released on bail to appear at Worthing Youth Court on April 18.
“Luckily the knife was not used in the assault on our officers and no injuries were received.”
Responding to the news, Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne reassured the community that Sussex Police was ‘determined to take knives off our streets’.
She told the Middy on Tuesday: “Like all forces across the country, Sussex Police is determined to take knives off the street and to encourage young people in particular not to carry knives.
“Although the officers dealing with this 15-year-old girl were not harmed and thankfully the knife was not used, it will be disturbing for parents to see that a young person felt the need to carry a knife in public in the first place.
“Two weeks ago, OP Sceptre – the national knife crime awareness campaign – was successfully run in Sussex with hundreds of knives handed in and saw officers visit schools and colleges and talk to thousands of pupils about the dangers of carrying knives and the consequences of being caught in possession.
“Yesterday (Monday, April 1), saw the launch of REBOOT, a £900k early intervention youth programme funded by my office with Sussex Police and local services that will identify young people at risk of being drawn into violent crime.
“This approach – which was successfully trialled in Hastings – will target potentially troubled and vulnerable young people through one-to-one specialist support workers who will help them build on positive traits and interests to divert them away from crime.”
Readers told the Middy they were shocked by the report. Commenting on our Facebook page, Joshua Horscroft said: “More needs to be done on the sale of knives and the age of which we buy them.”
Linda Blaker said: “I think, although, under age, young people who commit these offences should be named, shamed and charged. Then they’d see how difficult life can be. This softly way is just adding to their ‘street cred’.”