Recent analysis of Home Office crime data shows knife possession across the country rose by 15% with police being called out to 14,482 incidents of people carrying bladed articles. Attacks in London continue to be a concern, but the recent figures highlight an increase also in Manchester (24%), Birmingham (25%), and Liverpool (10%).
We’re often asked for advice in regard to knives and what to do. Unfortunately there is no ‘silver bullet’ answer to the problem. There is plenty of good advice available about incidents involving knives including on this platform e.g. situation awareness, street security and actions if caught up in an incident.
Last week we had a team on a task when a street attack involving knives occurred close by (Wandsworth area), the police were quickly on the scene but not before 2 individuals had both been injured. These type of incidents are usually unpredictable, often over in seconds and can quickly escalate. Our team were able to observe the aftermath of the incident while the ops room monitored anything coming through on the neighbourhood watch sites which quickly burst into life following an incident of this type, asking ‘what’s going on at?’
If you find yourself in the vicinity of a knife/violent attack, it’s important to prioritise your own safety, never lose sight of the fact that your safety comes first. Inevitably humans will all act differently (to some degree) when confronted with a violent situation requiring snap decisions. Some people will feel the need to help, even confront an attacker, most will avoid getting involved, others will hang around and watch the incident. Yes, there is no silver bullet answer to the problem but as a reminder:
-stay at a safe distance (avoid confrontation). If too close you may become a target or get caught in the violence – move away from the area to a safe location
-try to stay calm/focused, trust your instincts – if you think a situation is escalating, ‘try’ not to get involved
-Call the police, provide relevant details of the incident (what/where)
-Provide first aid if someone’s injured (ONLY if safe to do so), continue assistance until the emergency services arrive, if not FA trained comfort the victim best you can
-Gather info (ONLY if safe to do so) e.g. the basics – who was involved/what happened. Only video/take phots if safe to do so
-try to intervene/confront the attacker – they could be extremely dangerous and unpredictable, it could escalate the situation and put you/others in danger
-Be tempted to risk your safety to ‘get a better view’ or return to an incident once you’re in a safe place just to see ‘what’s going on’
-Panic, this can cause more chaos and put yourself/others in danger
-Move evidence, this could interfere with the investigation