Councillors in Oxford have called for ‘decisive action’ against knife crime following a spate of stabbings in recent weeks.

Police are currently conducting a murder investigation after a fatal stabbing on Sunday, February 25 in Littlemore which took the life of 32-year-old Tobias Bruce.

Four days later, a man sustained several stab wounds and was hospitalised after an incident in Edgecombe Road in Barton.

READ MORE: "One case of serious violence is one too many," says police and crime commissioner

The third incident on March 13 saw an attempted murder investigation launched following an altercation off Cowley Road where a man in his 40s was attacked in Manzil Way nearby.

Oxford city councillor for Littlemore, Tiago Corais admitted despite Oxford’s knife crime rate being below the national average, recent incidents within the city have “heightened concerns” within the community.

He said: “These occurrences often indicate deeper underlying issues that require urgent attention.

“We must take decisive action and focus on addressing this issue.

“Resources should be allocated in neighbourhood policing, fostering collaboration with communities, parents, and leaders.

“Our goal is not only to prevent future knife crimes but also to guide the younger generation away from violence, creating a safer environment for everyone in Oxford.”

Oxford Mail: Tiago Corais, city councillor for Littlemore

Trish Elphinstone, county councillor for Rose Hill and Littlemore added that “no family should suffer such a painful loss” from incidents of knife crime.

She said: “I think it is crucial for the well-being of communities, particularly the young, to protect all people against knife crime.

“There is a real need for more visible policing in local neighbourhoods for reassurance. 

“Youth workers have a role in play in prevention. It is important that we tackle this issue seriously.”

READ MORE: Anti knife-crime campaign launched by Oxford Mail

Oxford Mail: Cllr Trish Elphinstone

Shaista Aziz, leader of the Independent Group and ward councillor for Rose Hill and Iffley, concurred with the role of youth workers but highlighted a resource issue within the sector.

She said: “We have an abundance of talented youth workers and organisations across the city including mental health specialists working day in and day out to support people on the issue of knife crime, they need to be resourced properly and listened to if there is to be real change.

“Knife crime will not be solved by policing and the criminal justice system alone, there needs to be a public health approach applied similar to cities like Glasgow where knife crime is treated like a disease and the causes are dealt with rather than the symptoms.

“Any creation of a city-wide knife crime task force must be co-produced with communities from across our city, the agenda needs to be placed in their hands and solutions have to be rooted in the reality of the challenge being faced.”

Oxford Mail:

Hinskey Park councillor Anna Railton raised concerns over cuts to police which leads to residents feeling less safe in the community.

She said: “Crime and antisocial behaviour is super important to tackle - people need to have confidence in the police and feel safe in their communities.

“The cuts to police numbers really are becoming apparent across Oxford and that has to be reversed.”

Oxford Mail: Oxford city councillor Anna Railton

Oxford City Council has also welcomed Oxford Mail's new campaign to tackle knife crime following the recent incidents in the city.

Richard Adams, community safety service Manager at Oxford City Council, said: “Oxford City Council welcomes any opportunity to continue the work with our communities and partners to address the tragedy of people carrying knives in our city.  

“Our joint approach with Thames Valley Police, Oxfordshire County Council and other partners to tackle the causes of knife crime and deter people from carrying knives has resulted in a reduction in these offences, but one is too many and the partnership work continues.”