Tackling knife crime is 'top priority' for Thames Valley Police

  • Full report from ITV News Meridian's Cary Johnston

Since the start of the year, there have been five murders in the Thames Valley area - two in Buckinghamshire and three in Reading. All involved knives.

Chief Constable John Campbell says tackling the issue will take a community response but agrees it's a situation that can not continue.

  • Thames Valley Police Chief Constable John Campbell

In an interview with ITV News Meridian, Chief Constable John Campbell, said that knife crime generally across the Thames Valley is down 9% compared to last year.

He went on to say "But when we have these high profile and tragic events people become concerned and perhaps interpret it that it's more of a pattern than it is".

The Cheif Constable claimed the force had lost 700 officers over the last 8 or 9 years Credit: ITV News Meridian

"We had 17 murders last year in the Thames Valley, that's about an average across a population of two and a half million people, but I don't think I could give a commitment to stop every knife crime across the Thames Valley"

He readily admits that the past reduction of police officer numbers has had a significant impact.

"But we are seeing an announcement of nationally an extra 20,000 more officers. Of that, Thames Valley Police will get about 500 over the next 3 years. Whenever there is an incident we all feel the impact of that".

"Policing can't stop terrible things happening, that's not the nature of the world. But what we can do in certain of the most terrible crimes, is to get justice".