Drug And Knife Crime Down By More Than A Quarter Following Campaign Against Kirklees Gangs
Tuesday 12 May 2020
‘We won’t stop till we’ve locked you up!’ Police have warned crime gangs in Kirklees following big reductions in knife and drug offending across the District.
Senior officers have said they are continuing to push back hard against criminal gangs after a sustained campaign resulted in knife and drugs crime dropping by more than a quarter in 12 months.
Communities across Kirklees are also being urged to continue playing a vital role by reporting drugs and other criminal offending on their streets and helping officers pinpoint hotspots and target those responsible.
The latest crime data for Kirklees shows drug offending was down by more than a quarter (26 per cent) between April 2019 and March 2020, compared to the year before.
Knife crime was also reduced by 27 per cent leading to 145 fewer victims of this very serious and often life threatening offending.
Possession of weapon offences were also down by seven per cent, driven by the sustained focus of the Force’s Operation Jemlock team and partners, including Safer Kirklees. Forcewide, around 158 weapons have been taken off the streets by Jemlock officers.
Recent months have seen detectives make a string of arrests with three people charged and remanded at court just in the last month for drugs and violent crime related offences.
Cases have also been progressing through the courts with those dealt with receiving lengthy custodial sentences.
They included the jailing of three men for a combined 40 years in February this year for a firearms discharge on Alder Street, Huddersfield in May 2019.
Those sentences included the jailing of a Brighouse man for 21 years for possession of a firearm.
Meanwhile, the long running Operation Filterhouse initiative, which launched in 2018 to target gang related offending and drug dealing, also continues to operate.
So far officers have charged 39 people following a number of arrest phases, with the first 15 people dealt with by the courts receiving a combined 40 years in prison.
Detective Chief Inspector Richard McNamara, Crime Manager at Kirklees District, said: “There has been a clear, positive reduction in serious offence types across Kirklees. I hope this offers real reassurance to victims of crime and the public that we are 100% committed to tackling, detecting and preventing serious and organised crime.
“We will not be complacent, however, and our focused efforts will continue through the year to build on this success with the support of our communities and key partners.
“This reduction has been as a result of dedicated work of the Safer Kirklees Partnership, the co-ordination of knife and violent crime Home Office funding through Operation Jemlock, and community projects funded by the OPCC. This will continue.
“Operation Jemlock, together with a number of targeted operations supported by specialist officers, (including WYP officers from the force’s Protective Services Crime and specialist crime teams) has delivered substantial results in terms of drugs and firearms seizures. These have led to significant arrests and in turn prosecutions and lengthy prison sentences.”
Chief Superintendent Julie Sykes, District Commander of Kirklees Police said: “Reducing gang related offending has been a key priority for Kirklees Police. I am under no illusions whatsoever of the fear these types of crimes can create in our communities.
“Residents should not have to stand for offenders thinking this sort of behaviour is acceptable, and I hope the efforts we are making will reassure them it absolutely is not.
“Kirklees District has been at the forefront of new initiatives such as gang injunctions to prevent gangs gathering alongside using specialist police tactics to disrupt the drugs trade in Huddersfield and wider Kirklees.
“Our work remains an ongoing process and I continue to appeal to communities to stand up for their local area and share information they have about gang related crime
“If you have any information about people dealing drugs or carrying weapons in Kirklees do not to keep this information to yourself, please contact the police.
Kirklees Police can be contacted directly through 101 or calls can be made direct to Crimestoppers in complete anonymity on 0800 555 111.
“All information is assessed, investigated, and does lead to investigations which can eventually lead to the conviction of people like this.”
Councillor Carole Pattison, Cabinet Member for Learning, Aspiration and Communities, said: “As a Kirklees resident I’m hugely reassured to see that serious offences have reduced over the last 12 months and I hope that this message serves as a reminder that those who partake in organised crime will be investigated and prosecuted.
“The preventative, educational work that is carried out by Safer Kirklees officers has played a key role in deterring young people away from violent crime. Funding which has been made available from the Violence Reduction Unit at West Yorkshire Police has allowed our staff to conduct educational workshops to thousands of young people, adults and carers across Kirklees. This funding also allows the council’s Youth Intervention Team to offer one-to-one support to those most at risk of criminal exploitation which subsequently results in reducing the chances of young people being lead down the pathway of violent and organised crime.
“A huge thank you to West Yorkshire Police, Safer Kirklees and our residents across Kirklees who have worked in partnership to tackle serious crime in the district.”