Bexley is set to adopt a “public health” approach to tackling rising knife crime in the borough, mimicking a successful model from Scotland.

With serious violence shooting up, the council is developing a new safety partnership knife crime plan.

The draft, yet to be signed off by councillors, would see a “public health approach” adopted, replicating successful models undertaken in Scotland.

According to the plan: “The approach was implemented in Scotland where they tackled alcohol-related serious violence. It resulted in a 60 per cent decline in the murder rate in Glasgow.

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“Between 2011 and 2016, not a single person under the age of 20 was killed with a knife in Glasgow. In 2017, not one fatality involving a knife took place anywhere in Scotland.

“The Glasgow based Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) has proven that long-term strategy plans are required to have an impact on the reduction of knife crime. “

The approach focuses on prevention early on, with the police, council and charities working closely together.

“It is recognised that the ‘Glasgow model’ is not simply a ‘lift and shift’ approach that will work instantly in London due to the differences in the two cities.

“It is, however, one that has been championed by the London Mayor as good practice and a long-term strategic approach to tackling serious violence.

“It is therefore a way of working that will be developed through the knife crime and serious violence action plan for delivery in Bexley.”

Knife crime increased by 21 per cent between November 2017 and 2018, from 178 offences to 217.

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Bexley is not a designated “gang borough” and does not get the same resources as places such as Lewisham, but quieter areas are seeing increases in criminal activities crossing boundary lines.

The council’s new approach will also bring the community closer to the police, through new meetings or organised weapon sweeps.

According to the plan: “Serious violence is not an issue that will be greatly reduced overnight because of several factors.

“But by including local communities from the beginning of our approach, we can start that journey together with a clear path of what will help and why.”