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Police use 'knife bar' in Maidstone's Brenchley Gardens

Officers are using specialist equipment in a park as part of their continued crackdown on knife crime across the county.

A 'knife bar' has been used by police in Maidstone's Brenchley Gardens.

Officers have been stationed with the equipment - which functions like a metal detector - in the entrance to the park to try and deter anyone walking in with a knife.

PC Paul Hughes and Ben Matthews with the knife bar (8217229)
PC Paul Hughes and Ben Matthews with the knife bar (8217229)

The device, which is not permanently fixed and could be used in a number of other locations around the county, is similar to that which the force has used at nightclubs and other venues.

No arrests were made by officers when it first appeared in the park on Monday.

It comes as pressure grows on Prime Minister Theresa May to tackle the growing problem of knife crime after a spate of stabbings across the country in recent weeks.

Police have been using a 'knife bar' in Maidstone's Brenchley Gardens. Picture: Kent Police Maidstone (8208816)
Police have been using a 'knife bar' in Maidstone's Brenchley Gardens. Picture: Kent Police Maidstone (8208816)

She said at a summit this week: "Of course we would always make sure that the resources and tools are there to be able to apprehend and deal with those who are carrying and using knives, and the police have what they need to do – but we cannot simply arrest ourselves out of this problem.

"This is a wider problem. It’s more deep seated and we need to have a more coordinated effort in response to it.

"If you think about it, if it was a devastating disease that was affecting young people yes, we would be treating the symptoms but we would also be asking ourselves the question of what is the underlying cause.

"And that is that in relation to this issue we need to take the same approach to the cancer of serious youth violence."

Earlier this year, 37-year-old Wesley Adyinka was stabbed to death outside his home in Knightrider Street, while there were separate stabbing incidents in Tonbridge, Ramsgate and Herne Bay over the weekend.

Read more: All the latest news from Maidstone

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