Page last updated at 11:17 GMT, Wednesday, 22 July 2009 12:17 UK

County hails fall in knife deaths

Knife crime
West Yorkshire Police focused on educating young people

The number of people killed by knives in West Yorkshire fell during an anti-knife crime scheme, bucking the national trend, official figures show.

The government's Tackling Knives Action Programme (TKAP) started last July in 10 police areas in England and Wales, including West Yorkshire.

In its first nine months, 126 people died in knife attacks, seven more than in the same period the previous year.

But in West Yorkshire the number fell from 20 in 2007/8 to 14 in 2008/9.

The figures from West Yorkshire Police also showed that no teenagers died as a result of knife crime in the county in 2008/9 after seven deaths the year before.

Schools targeted

West Yorkshire Police said the figures highlighted the success of its campaign to target knife crime among young people.

A force spokesman said: "Over the last year, West Yorkshire Police has carried out a number of awareness programmes to schools and youth groups, raising the issues around knife crime.

"And the message appears to be hitting home as recent figures show considerable reductions in incidents involving sharp or bladed instruments.

"Whilst West Yorkshire does not experience the same levels of knife crime as other areas, the reductions in the number of victims of knife crime are very welcome."

TKAP was launched in July 2008 in the Metropolitan, Essex, Lancashire, West Yorkshire, Merseyside, West Midlands, Greater Manchester, Nottinghamshire, South Wales and Thames Valley police areas.

Bedfordshire, Northumbria, South Yorkshire and British Transport Police were added to the initiative in November 2008, and Kent and Hampshire in March 2009.



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