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More police will cut knife crime'

PUBLISHED: 15:59 18 March 2009 | UPDATED: 10:33 23 August 2010

A FATHER who was viscously stabbed by a gang of youths on his doorstep says more police are needed to stamp out knife crime in the county. Andrew Gayfer, 49, of Colstead, New Ash Green, says many of the measures proposed under the government s Tackling K

A FATHER who was viscously stabbed by a gang of youths on his doorstep says more police are needed to stamp out knife crime in the county.

Andrew Gayfer, 49, of Colstead, New Ash Green, says many of the measures proposed under the government's Tackling Knives Action Programme will be ineffective.

Kent Police is among 11 forces nationwide to benefit from the £5m re-launch of the scheme outlined this week. The force plans to put their £100,000 share into existing schemes such as school and youth forum workshops and to work with parents of youngsters believed to be carrying knives.

Mr Gayfer said: "To be honest, I don't think the children at school are going to listen to what the police say. They agree with them when they are in the classroom and then when they are out of school on the streets and in the gangs they still carry knives.

"Even talking to the parents isn't going to work as half of them don't have any idea what their children are getting up to.

"The threat of being stopped and searched is the only thing that's going to stop them.

"£100,000 isn't going to pay for extra police on the streets which is what is needed."

The 49-year-old was viscously stabbed when he confronted a group of youths who had gathered outside his front door following an argument with his son Alex in September 2007. He received substantial wounds to his chest, a cut through the muscle on his right forearm, a stab wound to the kidney area and two wounds on his back. The attack has also taken its toll on Mr Gayfer and his family psychologically.

He added: "I still struggle at times. Externally I've got some scars but the wounds have all healed. Internally I have still got some problems and pain, and I still suffer from it. If I notice it is starting up again I have to take it easy.

"Even now I rarely open the front door at night when somebody knocks on it because of the memories of what happened."

Kent Police says they were selected for the scheme due to their innovative work resulting in a 15 per cent reduction in knife crime since 2006.

Assistant Chief Constable Gary Beautridge said: "We are determined to bring the greatest level of scrutiny to those small number of offenders who carry knives and bring those small numbers of offenders to justice.

"I am keen to stress that Kent does not suffer from the levels of knife crime experienced by some of these other forces.

"Kent residents should not fear knife crime in our county."

jason.goodyer@archant.co.uk

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