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Police Incident Raises Community Concern on Bristol Knife Crime

Another violent incident on Wade Street shook local residents

It was around 9.45pm on Saturday evening, when emergency services swarmed the bottom part of Wade St. It’s not an unusual event to occur in this part of St Jude’s, which is plagued with drug dealing and antisocial behaviour. Knives have become the go-to weapon of choice.

Over the last year, the number of stabbings that have involved much younger children and young people has also shocked the city.

Wade St is part of St Jude’s, an area of Bristol that stretches from one side of Bond Street towards the top end of Stapleton Road. It’s is cut off by the motorway and Old Market on either side. It’s an area which has see little to no investment in many years, with poor quality housing and no facilities.

The Saturday night incident involved a man in his 20s who was found with injuries and taken to hospital. Police say a woman in her 40s was arrested in connection with the event.

The Reaction on Wade Street
During the course of the incident, many members of the community came to find out what was going on. Almost without exception and with little emotion, they asked if there had been another stabbing. “It’s just normal now, you come to expect it,” one man said.

“Has somebody been stabbed?” Another wave of people leaving the local mosque asked. “If there’s that many police around here, someone’s probably been stabbed again.”

Although there was little surprise around news of yet another violent altercation on Wade St, there is clearly huge concern within all communities in St Jude’s at the number of stabbings that are occurring.

“I want to move. I’m trying so hard to move,” one lady said, clearly emotional at another incident happening outside of her block of flats.

“Just up the road in the park there was a stabbing the other day. It’s out of control,” a man gestured.

“It’s been growing and growing over the last year. It’s so bad now. I don’t feel safe,” a young person stated.

“Drugs. It’s a big problem around here. There’s so many dealers and it leads to violence,” another man said. “I wouldn’t even report it to the police because I’m worried about comeback.”

“There are young kids who are getting involved in all these stabbings around the top end of St Jude’s. Postcodes and gang activity, sometimes drugs are causing it. Some of them are so young. Like 12, but playing big men.”

“This is just normal isn’t it? A woman said. So much violence around here. There’s always fights. Always aggression. Always people getting hurt. Lots of incidents right there.”

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