Despite the country now going into its second lockdown of the year, tensions between drug gangs are amounting to a ‘power struggle’ in the Meadows and St Ann’s in Nottingham. According to the force’s knife crime team, which is based at St Ann’s Police Station, knife crime has not decreased despite the current circumstances of COVID-19.
In fact, criminals are now finding more ways to not get caught by the police. Examples of such methods include buying Tasers disguised as mobile phones and encouraging young children and women to carry drugs for them to avoid being prosecuted.
Sergeant Matthew Daley, the new knife crime lead for Nottinghamshire Police told Nottinghamshire Live that whilst the pandemic had transformed the lives of the vast majority of the population “for criminals their business has not changed much”.
Criminals are not furloughed, and they cannot work from home and so are still heavily dependent on an income from their trade just like before coronavirus hit the UK. However according to Sergeant Daley these criminals are now working on concealment, “for example, if they are dealing in an alleyway of an address, they will not have a weapon down their waistband but it will be in a wheelie bin or a fence.”
The police team was established in December 2017 and, currently most of the knife crime teams work is based in St Ann’s and the Meadows. They operate in a 48 hour window in the hope of following information as soon as they receive it so they can direct their resources in the most productive manner.
Despite the task they face being described as relentless, the team continue to work hard to keep people safe and have the confidence of the communities’ support behind them. Amid a global pandemic and other harsh issues facing communities in Nottingham and around the country, people are becoming increasingly fed up and worried about the state of knife crime. Whilst knife crime has reduced by 11% in Nottingham according to ONS figures, it seems that as these gangs evolve in their methods and tensions increase, the police still seem one step ahead in preventing knife and drug related crimes.