Thames Valley Police extends Operation Deter to Aylesbury and confirms first man charged

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Thames Valley Police has extended its new zero tolerance knife crime project to Aylesbury.

The police force announced today that it was implementing Operation Deter in the Bucks town.

Operation Deter was introduced in Milton Keynes on 1 July in reaction to four fatalities in the city in just 10 weeks as a result of knife crime.

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Both the police force and Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), Matthew Barber, were involved in creating the operation.

Operation Deter figures from July for Milton KeynesOperation Deter figures from July for Milton Keynes
Operation Deter figures from July for Milton Keynes

Operation Deter’s main objective is to make better use of charging and remanding offenders aged over 18 to court, sending a robust message to anyone found in possession of a knife.

While only announced today, the police force has been using tougher knife crime tactics in Aylesbury since 26 August.

Thames Valley Police has confirmed the first person has been charged in Aylesbury since the operation started.

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Alexander Coman, 32, of Hilton Avenue, Aylesbury, was charged with one count of possession of a knife blade/sharp pointed article in a public place last Friday (26 August).

The charge relates to an incident in Hilton Avenue on 24 August.

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Coman will be tried on the charge at High Wycombe Magistrates’ Court on 28 September.

PCC Barber said: “The tough approach to knife carrying that has been introduced as part of Op Deter is seeing swift action being taken against criminals.

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“Launched in Milton Keynes in July it has already seen an increase in those charged, remanded and presented to court for knife crime offences.

“I am determined to tackle the culture of knife carrying across Thames Valley and I am pleased that Operation Deter is showing some positive early signs.”

Operation Deter aims to get offenders carrying a knife and aged over 18 moving through the legal system as efficiently as possible.

By proactively charging and remanding suspects while they are still in custody.

This includes taking a more robust approach to bail.

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Now, the scheme is active in Aylesbury Vale, the force is looking at expanding the project to cover the entire policing area.

There was a significant increase in the number of knife crimes recorded in Milton Keynes in July, when compared to the figures in the month before Operation Deter was active.

In July, 22 people were charged, 16 of those were remanded, and 25 were bailed with conditions while investigations continue.

Custody Inspector for Milton Keynes and Aylesbury, Michael Morland said: “We have already seen a significant increase in the number of individuals charged and remanded to court, and this operation now expanding to include Aylesbury will continue to target those who seek to carry knives in public.

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“This zero-tolerance approach will continue and will be stepped up in the coming months and rolled out in other force areas.”

Thames Valley Police adds, If you have any information or know of someone who is carrying a knife, you can report this to us on 101 or online, or for 100% anonymity, by calling the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.