New statistics show a significant drop in youth knife crime rates in Coventry, a meeting of the City Council has heard.
It follows the introduction of a new multi-million pound violence reduction project in the city.
Data suggests that serious incidents involving blades in the last six months have dropped by 42% compared to the same period in 2022, whilst overall crime rates are down by 7.5%.
The Community Initiative to Reduce Violence (CIRC) was launched in April to reduce crime in Coventry and Wolverhampton.
The programme was first used in the United States in the 1990s, in response to high levels of homicides in Boston.
After being trialled in Glasgow in the mid-2000s, the programme first made its way to England in 2019, when it was implemented by Northamptonshire Police.
It aims to identify potential subjects via a process of referral, before triaging individuals across a range of local services. Those who have been identified can be supported by trained experts and redirected away from potential routes into crime.
I am really pleased we have seen a massive drop-off in relation to gang disputes in the city, more than we ever imagined
Superintendent Daryl Lyon, Northamptonshire Police
Superintendent Daryl Lyon, the officer behind the original project in Northampton, was keen to praise the new scheme.
Lyon, who is now involved in the project’s expansion into the West Midlands, said: “I think it’s worth recognising.
“One of the reasons we got the funding is a recognition of the excellent partnership working that’s already happening in the city.”
Another key outcome of the project has been a decline in gang-related violence.
Coventry previously had the highest concentration of gang injunctions of anywhere in the UK, but rates have now fallen.
“I am really pleased we have seen a massive drop-off in relation to gang disputes in the city, more than we ever imagined,” Lyon said.
With the West Midlands experiencing the highest rate of knife incidents of any region outside London, the project offers hope that crime can be reduced.
It will also generate the potential for further expansion to other regions where crime rates are high.