The town’s leading politicians have warned people to stay vigilant in order to prevent a rise in knife crime.

Shocking reports in the media over the last few weeks have revealed 50 people have been murdered in London this year – with at least 35 of those people being fatally stabbed.

The Independent also said on Wednesday that the number of children aged 16 and under being treated for stab wounds in hospitals has soared more than 60 per cent in the last five years.

Residents are being reassured that Watford does not have the same levels of knife crime however, there is an issue that needs to be addressed as there have been knife assaults in the town this year.

Chief Inspector for Watford Matt Phillips said Hertfordshire Constabulary has a force-wide campaign called Operation Sceptre in place to monitor this issue and respond accordingly.

He said: “Although we do not have a specific problem in Watford linked to gangs, there is a growing issue in Watford and across the home counties in the amount of crime linked to drug activity. This includes not only drug dealing and cultivating, but also knife crime and assaults. Much of this crime in Watford is committed by people local to the area rather than offenders coming in from London.

“My police teams in Watford are committed to tackling this problem, and we have carried out numerous warrants at addresses across the town and made numerous arrests.

“Drugs have been seized, distribution lines disrupted and in some cases, tenants evicted and properties closed. My safer neighbourhood officers have good links within their areas and have been liaising with local residents and listening to their concerns.”

Mayor of Watford Dorothy Thornhill warned that people should not be complacent about such a “serious issue”.

She said: “Knife crime is an incredibly serious issue and what we have seen in London recently has been both shocking and disturbing.

“Watford is not a London borough and we’re lucky that we don’t have the sorts of problems with knife crime that some parts of London do. However, we’re not complacent, and we know this issue is a serious one.

“We work very closely with our partners in Hertfordshire Police to make our town is safe and to educate young people about the dangers of gang and knife crime. We support Hertfordshire Police in all that they do to tackle this issue.”

Richard Harrington, the MP for Watford, said he welcomes the work Hertfordshire Police are doing to ensure there is not a rise in knife crime.

He said: "Gun and knife crime is relatively rare in Hertfordshire, and the possession of weapons offence rates have fallen in Watford over the last year.

“But we must not be complacent, and that's why I welcome the work that Herts Constabulary is doing to educate people, and prevent a rise in knife and gun crime. This includes organising a knife amnesty earlier this year, in support of the Government's #KnifeFree campaign.

“Knives do not make people safe, in fact you are more likely to be injured or arrested if you carry one. If you want any advice, or you are feeling scared, intimated or even pressured into carrying one, then you should call 101 for some advice on what to do."