1. ITV Report

Teenagers 'fear for their lives' on Gloucester streets as knife crime rises by 65 per cent in eight years

Teenagers in Gloucester have told ITV News they fear for their lives on the city's streets because of a rise in people carrying knives.

According to the Home Office, there has been a 65% increase in knife crime in the county between 2010 and 2018.

It's kill or be killed.

– Anonymous Gloucester teen
One 19-year-old shows his wounds after being stabbed 12 times for,

Statistics suggest Gloucester has a bigger knife crime problem than most in the South West.

One 19-year-old told ITV News West Country he was subjected to an attack last December where he was stabbed 12 times for, "being in the wrong place at the wrong time".

increase in knife crime in Gloucestershire between 2010-2018
  • Watch Richard Payne's package - after he spent a night filming in Gloucester - below:

Lewis Whitter has grown-up in Gloucester and tried to help those on the edges of crime. He says too many young people, mainly boys, lack the role models that guided him and are turning to knives instead.

A few years ago you might hear of an 18 or 19-year-old, a teenager carrying a knife - but now it's real teenagers, it's 14/15-year-olds carrying knives because they feel scared.

If I'm one of these young people who doesn't have any goals in life and doesn't care about tomorrow, why would I care about doing certain things like carrying a knife or anything? There's no goal, there's no future for me anyway.

– Lewis Whitter
Statistics show knife crime is increasing in the South West.

One mum told us knife crime is becoming a big problem - claiming a lack of respect among young people leading to many, "doing what they want".

Knife crime is also a constant concern for those who try to understand, guide and support those who are, or could be at risk.

I worry for a lot of young people in Gloucester at the moment. Knife crime has gone up, we're the ones that have parents ringing our phones, crying down the phone to us because their child is carrying a knife.

We have people turning up saying, 'Can you come and take this knife from my child?' We've had kids ring us that they've just chucked a knife here or there asking us to collect the knife.

That's the bits that people don't see, that bits we do behind the scenes to work with these young people.

– Bernie Buchanan, Project Manager Increase the Peace
Police use stop and search powers to hunt for knives.


total offences involving knives across the West Country
Crimes involving knives across the West Country by police force area
  • In March alone there have been more than a dozen incidents involving knives - here are just a few: