Figures show Cleveland has highest rates of knife crime in the North East

New figures from the ONS show that Cleveland has the highest rates of knife crime in the North East.

Durham, Northumbria, Cleveland and North Yorkshire all recorded an increase in incidents involving knives or other bladed weapons. 

Cleveland Police that saw the biggest rise, increasing from 122 cases per 100,000 people between April 2020 and March 2021, to 139 the year after. (Figures from ONS)

Dep Ch Supt for Cleveland Police, John Bent, said: “It isn’t just knives, because those statistics include screw drivers and bottles, and then I guess that’s where Teesside and Cleveland find themselves in some respects.

"Areas where you’ve got high rates of unemployment, deprivation, drugs markets and the violence that’s associated with those, children or young people think ‘I’m going to carry a knife for my own protection’, but that’s something that perpetuates it, and we need to change that mindset”

The famous Knife Angle arrives in the Cleveland Police area on Tuesday 2 August, thanks to a campaign from the family of a young man who was killed in a knife attack in Redcar in 2003.

Chris Cave was just 17 when he was stabbed to death by another teenager in his hometown.

Since then, his mother Theresa Cave has led the Christopher Cave Foundation, urging people to "put down the knife".

The 27ft Knife Angel sculpture is made up of 100,000 seized knives and has travelled the length and breadth of the country spreading awareness about the dangers of knife crime.

Chris Cave's brother, Tom Cave, said: “My life got changed as soon as I lost my brother. I wouldn’t ever wish it on anyone else. To go through the sort of stuff we had to go through. Not just losing our Chris but the aftermath of my mum’s mental health, my mental health.

"We’re trying our hardest to educate as much as possible, and from as young as possible as well.

"There are kids that are just dying everyday and there’s just no need for it- it’s stupid and senseless."

Theresa Cave said: “It takes literally a second to take somebody's life and in that second, you could just think twice before you do it and walk away.

"You don’t lose the victim, you lose your life as well."

The Christopher Cave Foundation have been supported by Cleveland Police’s Assistant Chief Constable Lisa Theaker.

ACC Theaker stars in Channel 4’s Hunted as ‘The Chief’ and decided to donate her profits from the show to Theresa’s charity.

The Assistant Chief Constable grew up in Redcar and attended the same school as Chris.

ACC Theaker said: “Tackling knife crime and its causes is a key priority for Cleveland Police. We don’t want anyone to face the heartbreak Theresa and other families have had to endure. We need to talk about knife crime and come together to make a difference to our communities.

“The Knife Angel will spark a conversation across all ages and backgrounds and we will support this educational work alongside our preventative measures and enforcement activity, which will see offenders brought to justice.”

Theresa Cave from The Chris Cave Foundation, said: “We’re so proud to be bringing the Knife Angel to Redcar, I want to thank Lisa and the team for everything they have done for us and I look forward to working together in the future.”