By John Wimperis, Local Democracy Reporter: A new task group will look at how to prevent knife crime in Bath and North East Somerset.
There have been three fatal stabbings in the area since summer last year. The task group will look at the current position with knife crime in Bath, with a particular focus on young people, and how prevention measures can be improved.
Councillors on Bath and North East Somerset Council’s scrutiny panel on children, adults, health and wellbeing voted unanimously to establish the group at their meeting on September 18. It had been proposed by the panel’s chair — and current Mayor of Bath — Dine Romero.
Council officer Ceri Williams said that the task group format would allow the investigation to be “more flexible, dynamic, and allow us to capture more detail.” Meetings of the task group will not be open to the public, which Mr Williams said would allow them to deal with information “sensitively.”
Executive councillors are expected to be among those asked to give evidence to the panel, but the group will also be speaking to partners and external groups. Mr Williams said: “I don’t think it would be effective if we just looked at council only.”
Membership of the task group is planned to consist of about five members, with all backbench councillors on Bath and North East Somerset Council with an interest in the area invited to participate. The group will report back after six months, with recommendations going to the council executive.
First proposing the group at a previous meeting of the panel on July 10, Ms Romero said she wanted to “actually find out if there’s anything more that we as a council or any other agency could be doing.” She added: “What we have seen over the last year is three fatalities, so to see if there is any more that we could be doing collectively to prevent more deaths.”
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