WILTSHIRE Police is one of only four forces to see a reduction in overall crime, according to the latest figures released by Office for National Statistics.

The police is bucking the national trend of increasing crime figures by seeing a reduction of 1 per cent, as well as a reduction in knife crime by 18 per cent since September 2017.

Angus Macpherson, Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon, said: "The impact of knife crime can be devastating, not only for the victim and perpetrator, but also their families and friends.

"We are not seeing the same problems in Wiltshire that there are nationally because of the work being done by Wiltshire Police alongside the local authorities and other partners to tackle knife crime.

"This year I want to be able to allocate funding for a renewed focus on crime prevention using a range of tactics to target those who may commit crime in future.

"But the reality is that the police cannot tackle this alone and need to draw upon the strength of communities to play an equal part.

"Parents and schools can play their part by checking what their children are carrying in their bags; it's a good way to educate youngsters too that being caught with a knife could mean they end up in serious trouble as well as risking being injured themselves.

"Long term - good education and prevention means the wider community becomes a safer one.

“I am determined that we will continue to do as much as we can to eradicate knife crime in Wiltshire. Just one knife related incident is one too many and I am acutely aware of this.”

Assistant Chief Constable Deborah Smith, the Force lead for crime, justice and vulnerability said: “Wiltshire still remains one of the safest counties to live and work in, and the crime statistics released today show us as one of only four UK forces reporting an overall reduction in crime.

“Due to national media coverage of knife crime problems across the UK, we know this is an area that people have particular concerns about.

"However, here in Wiltshire, we have seen an 18 per cent reduction in knife crime since September 2017.

“There is still a lot of crime prevention work to do around people carrying knives, as incidents of weapon possession are up 3 per cent, but overall we are making very good progress.

“If you suspect someone of illegally carrying a knife, I’d urge you to report it to the police immediately by calling 101, or 999 in an emergency.

"Alternatively information can be passed to Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555 111.”