A mother of a young son who found a large kitchen knife at her parents’ house in Abbots Langley said the area has dramatically changed.
Cindy Watorowski was playing with her three-year-old son at her parent’s house on The Fairway on May 12 when her husband discovered the knife on a wall under a hedge.
The black handle kitchen knife was about six to eight inches long and had a broken handle.
Cindy said: “The knife was about 6ft away from my parent’s front gate – I dread to think what could have happened if my son had found it, he’s only three years old.
“I don’t live in the area anymore but we’re often at my parents. I do have close friends with children and nephews and a niece who live in the area and it’s changed so much since we grew up there.”
Hertfordshire Police were called to the address and the knife was recovered.
Knife crime has sored in recent times and has passed 100 fatal stabbing in the UK for 2019. Cindy said more needs to be done.
She said: “Knife crime is terrible everywhere, and children and adults who feel the need they have to carry a weapon is a sorry state of society. There needs to be more police on the street and the resources to react to crimes quickly would be a great place to start.
“There also needs to be more youth groups or local gyms to encourage youngsters off the streets and to do something positive with their time would be great. They just need somewhere they can feel safe have fun.”
Inspector Andrew Palfreyman, Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Crime Reduction and Community Safety Unit said: “Knife related incidents have been increasing across the country over the past three or four years.
“This is partly due to better recording of crime and changes to the definitions by the HMICFRS of what constitutes knife crime. Any incident where the presence of a knife has been mentioned or implied is now recorded as a knife-related incident, even if no evidence of a weapon is found.
“New recording rules also mean that we record a separate crime for each victim, where previously when a crime had several victims, this would have been recorded as a single crime.
“Hertfordshire Constabulary has also invested in making it easier to report crime online and improved victim support services, which may also have had a positive impact on the number of crimes reported.
“The majority of recorded knife-related crimes in Hertfordshire are non-violent and do not result in injuries. In response to the increase in knife crime we have developed a Serious Violence Strategy, which is a long term plan involving a comprehensive approach to serious violent crime in the county. “This has been developed in partnership with local and county council, schools, government, neighbouring forces, charities and other agencies.
“We are aware that there has been an increase in young people being involved in knife related incidents in Hertfordshire.
“There is little or no evidence to suggest that habitual knife carriers are a notable problem and that knives are more probably being carried for self-protection.
“To address this rise Hertfordshire Constabulary has been running knife amnesties over the past two years and supplemented this with test purchase operations, knife arches and high visibility patrols in areas where knife crime has most often occurred.
“We have been utilising powers to identify individuals carrying knives and conducting out operations specifically to disrupt criminal activity linked to knife crime.
“We will be focussing on knife crime over the next three years and plan to conduct several initiatives working alongside our partners, aimed at educating young people about the dangers of knife crime and working with our neighbouring Forces to ensure known offenders do not move cross border.”