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Transport minister commends work tackling knife crime on Stratford visit

PUBLISHED: 14:00 31 March 2019

Transport minister Andrew Jones praised police efforts in tackling knife crime on a visit to Stratford on Thursday. Picture: DEPARTMENT FOR TRANSPORT

Transport minister Andrew Jones praised police efforts in tackling knife crime on a visit to Stratford on Thursday. Picture: DEPARTMENT FOR TRANSPORT

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A government minister has praised police efforts to tackle knife crime on a visit to one of the borough's main rail hubs.

Transport minister Andrew Jones praised the “exceptional” work of the British Transport Police (BTP) to tackle crimes involving blades on Britain’s railways, after joining patrols with the force in Stratford on Thursday.

Mr Jones said: “For millions of people up and down the country using a train is a daily necessity, and it is absolutely vital that they know they can travel safely without the senseless threat of knife crime.

“It is fantastic to see first-hand the invaluable work of BTP officers cracking down on this issue, ensuring passengers can have total confidence in a safe and secure journey.”

Meeting with officers including BTP assistant chief constable Robin Smith, the minister saw first-hand tactics aimed at stopping people carrying knives onto trains as part of specialist Operation Engulf.

This was followed by a demonstration in the use of knife arches, metal detectors, and plain-clothed officers.

Due to the BTP’s measures, Stratford station has seen 33 arrests for weapon offences and 322 stop and searches carried out since last year.

Asst Ch Cons Smith said: “Millions of people use the railways every day and our officers are on hand 24/7 to help keep them safe.

“Over the last year we have increased our targeted, intelligence-led operations against knife crime. These patrols have been paramount in taking knives off our network.

“Around half of all knife crime we record is as a result of weapons our officers have seized and, importantly, these successful operations also act as a deterrent to those intent on carrying weapons, and help us to keep passengers and staff safe.”

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