Cleveland is Britain’s second knife crime capital with some of the highest rates of blade offences in the country.

Cleveland Police recorded some of the most offences involving knives in the country in the year ending March 2022, second only to West Midlands Police.

The alarming new figures make the areas around Middlesbrough, Stockton, Hartlepool and Redcar and Cleveland the second most dangerous places in the UK for knife crime, even worse than London.

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There were 139 knife offences in the area per 100,000 of the population, more than the number recorded by London’s Metropolitan Police at 124 or Greater Manchester at 128.

The concerning statistics also reveal an uptick in knife crime in the last year with an extra 17 knife crimes recorded per 100,000 population compared to the year ending March 2021.

The Northern Echo:

Cleveland Police Superintendent and Community Safety lead Emily Harrison, said: “Knife crime has a devastating impact on our communities. We recognise that we need to do everything possible to prevent knife crime and to ensure those who carry knives are brought before the courts.

"The work of the Cleveland Unit for the Reduction of Violence (CURV) is essential to our approach and we work with partners across health and other agencies on this issue.

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“Education and sharing information with young people is a crucial tool to make carrying a knife unacceptable and work from our Early Intervention Coordinators has a real impact.

"If you are aware of anyone who carries a knife or have concerns that someone you know may carry a knife, please report it to police on 101. Alternatively you can call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111."

Nationally knife crime has increased across England and Wales, up from 75 offences per 100,000 population last year, to 82 offences in the year ending March 2022.

Chris Cave was stabbed to death in Redcar in June 2003 and his mum Theresa and brother Tom have since founded the Chris Cave Foundation in his honour, working with young people to deter violent crime.

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Theresa Cave told The Northern Echo: “We have been the second worst in the country for a long time but had we not been educating young people we could have been the worst.

The Northern Echo: Theresa Cave, centre, at the Chris Cave Foundation in Redcar.Theresa Cave, centre, at the Chris Cave Foundation in Redcar.

“It’s about education, getting to know these young people, and giving them something to change their minds on carrying a knife.

“More of these crimes are actually being carried out by adults, and young people are carrying knives out of fear.

“Some of these young people have nothing to do and youth services need to be given back to them.

“This is a serious, serious crisis and everybody has a part to play.”

See how knife crime rates are in your part of the region using our interactive map

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