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Detectives have made 15 arrests and charged three people as an investigation into a series of stabbings and disorder across Stoke-on-Trent continues.
There have been a number of violent incidents involving youths over the past few weeks in the Norton, Shelton and Tunstall areas and officers are investigating to look at whether they are connected.
Detective Chief Inspector Rob Taylor, of Staffordshire Police, said he is looking at the sequence of incidents that have taken place recently in the area and now believes several have been carried out as retaliation for earlier events.
He said: “These are not large groups of people, rather smaller groups of known associates who are looking for revenge for earlier attacks.
“Our message is clear: We will not tolerate this violence or threat of violence in Stoke-on-Trent and we will bring them before the courts.”
“I want to reassure the public we know who these people are and we are monitoring their activities as well as increasing patrols and making arrests,” DCI Taylor added.
Officers attended a fight where weapons were used in Sun Street, Shelton, on 25 July. Arrests were made and enquiries are still ongoing. DCI Taylor believes that subsequent incidents, including a stabbing in Norton on September 10, a disorder in Northwood on September 12 and stabbings in Tunstall on September 13 and Norton on September 20, may also be linked.
As well as an increased presence in the area, officers will also be carrying out enforcement activity, including stop searches.
The force recently took part in a national week long campaign to urge young people not to carry blades.
The week saw officers across the force visiting schools, colleges and holding engagement events to talk to young people and warn of the dangers of carrying a knife.
DCI Taylor added: “It is important to note that while there has been an eight per cent decrease in knife crime in Staffordshire in the last year, the force will continue to work with partners to tackle the issue.”
Enquiries are ongoing into the recent incidents but if you have any information about any of the incidents please contact police on 101 or call Crimestoppers, anonymously on 0800 555 111.