Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire | WYPCC

Milestone reached in response to knife crime and serious violence

21st July 2020

More than 3000 arrests have now been made by a West Yorkshire Police dedicated operation created specifically to cut knife crime and serious violence in West Yorkshire.

Operation Jemlock was launched in April 2019 in response to rising violence and knife crime.

The milestone arrest was made on Monday 20th July when a female was arrested in Bradford for seven offences, namely assault occasioning actual bodily harm, two common assaults, criminal damage, two assaults on emergency workers and racially aggravated threatening behaviour.

During the previous 15 months, officers working on the operation have also;

Removed 246 knives and other weapons from the streets.

Submitted 5,244 pieces of intelligence to help target their enforcement activity.

As a result;

Knife crime has been reduced by 12.4%

Robbery has been reduced by 20%

Operation Jemlock was created after the Chief Constable, John Robins QPM met with the Home Secretary and other chief officers in March 2019.

Following that meeting, a number of police forces were given additional Home Office funding to tackle the issue of serious violence.

Further funding for a second financial year was allocated in April 2020 and it ensured the operation was able to continue.

Superintendent Damon Solley leads Operation Jemlock. He said:

“Since the beginning of April 2020, officers working on Operation Jemlock have worked extremely hard to build on the excellent results achieved in its first year.

“They continue to deploy into key areas of West Yorkshire every day. They target known offenders, carry out visible patrols, utilise stop and search where appropriate and respond to incidents of violence.

“Of course, we are not able to completely eradicate this type of crime and regrettably we still see incidents involving a knife only too often. There is no complacency and we remain resolute in our efforts to make West Yorkshire safer.

“Officers have been working as normal during the virus pandemic restrictions. Whilst there have been fewer people out in public, knife crime has not gone away. We remain determined to remove violent offenders and their weapons from the streets.

“There have been significantly fewer victims than when we started and this is also how we measure our success.

“It is never the right call to carry a knife or any other weapon, as you increase the risk of being seriously harmed if you do. I pay tribute to the officers and staff who have worked on Operation Jemlock so far and the local officers they work alongside.”

West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Mark Burns-Williamson said:

“You only need look so far as the latest crime figures, which I updated to the most recent West Yorkshire Police and Crime Panel, to recognise the hugely positive impact that Operation Jemlock is having on serious violent crime across the county, with reductions in associated offences across the board.

“The latest milestone on 3000 arrests represents the fact that this type of activity will not be tolerated here and that together, we are dedicated to bringing the perpetrators of violence to justice and I congratulate the team for their pro-active approach in achieving impressive outcomes to make our communities safer places.

“Coupled with the launch of the West Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) earlier this year, we are making significant strides on a partnership level to educate, inform and prevent longer term harm within our communities.

“The VRU has enabled us to work more collaboratively with a wider range of key partners including public health, education, local government, police, third/voluntary sector, prisons, academia and others to better understand and tackle the key drivers of serious violence.

“We will not allow our communities to suffer at the hands of a minority who commit unacceptable violence and the results emerging from the ongoing Operation Jemlock ‘surge’ activity by the police should be a stark reminder as to our robust stance in keeping people safe and feeling safe.”