PRISON is a ‘great way’ to deter knife crime, says the chief constable of police after a spate of violent crimes across Thames Valley.

Jason Hogg, the chief constable of Thames Valley Police, has spoken out about knife crime following the release of the force’s end of year statistics.

The force has seen a 42 per cent decrease in homicide cases across Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire. However, they arrested 841 people for crimes where a knife is involved, which is a two per cent rise.

READ MORE: Medical cause of death of Reading man will remain unknown

Mr Hogg said the force is proactively working towards decreasing knife crime by launching ‘Operation Deter’ in Milton Keynes, which has also now been rolled out to Aylesbury, Slough, and Reading.

Under this initiative, individuals arrested over the age of 18 for a knife-related offence will, wherever possible, be charged and remanded immediately and put before the courts.  

If the individual is under 18, they will be visited by the Youth Offending Team and a plan is drawn up for intervention and rapid commencement of the Youth Justice Process. 

Though Mr Hogg felt it was ‘inappropriate’ to comment on what the court outcome should be for those who are caught with knives, he said prison was a ‘great way’ to deter these offenders.

“The issue for young people carrying knives is not just a police problem but society’s problem,” he said.

READ MORE: Shocking moment car is driven wrong way on dual carriageway in police pursuit

“Sadly, those people who carry knives are more likely to be the victims of knife crime as well.

“We are piloting serious violence reduction orders so if magistrates agree an order we can stop and search certain individuals.

“I think it’s not appropriate for police to comment on court orders but putting people behind bars is a great way to deter offending. We hope when we arrest people with knives that prison is an option.”

He added that a lot of work is going into education of knife crime in schools as well as targeting areas to reduce crime.

A total of 10,000 more patrols have been sent to hotspots – mostly ‘urban areas’ – to tackle knife crime.

READ MORE: In the Dock: Teen court with machete the latest in court

Mr Hogg added that the force has supported the Knife Angel statue being hosted in Milton Keynes and Slough where ‘a commitment was made by Thames Valley Police and partners to stand together on tackling serious violence’.

 “Homicide is one of our priorities,” Mr Hogg added. “We’ve worked incredibly hard on this – each one of these cases [of homicide] is a tragedy.”