Three people have been for sentenced for knife crime in Watford this year, including a 16-year-old caught with a kitchen knife.

It comes amid recent data revealing 262 people were guilty of weapon offences in Hertfordshire last year, of which 187 were first time offenders.

See below for details on the Watford-related sentencings in 2024.

Caid King

Caid King, of Thurlow Close, Luton, was banned from Watford for six months after he was found with a lock knife, four wraps of heroin, crack cocaine and cannabis in Cassiobury Park on March 27, 2023.

The 18-year-old was convicted of possessing a bladed article and the Class A and B drugs with intent to supply on November 29 last year.

At St Albans Magistrates' Court on January 9, he was told he must carry out 200 hours of unpaid work and attend a rehabilitation programme for 19 days. 

He was forced to forfeit £274.90 under Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 while his phone and knife were destroyed.

Persida-Romina Coca

Persida-Romina Coca, of no fixed address, was given 20 weeks' prison suspended for 12 months, after she pleaded guilty on January 5 to possessing a knife and stealing over £400 of toiletries in Watford.

The 20-year-old was found with a lock knife in Smith Street after she stole skincare products worth £417.89 from the Superdrug in atria Watford.

The knife was seized and destroyed, while she was told to pay £85 in court costs and a £154 victim surcharge.

Rickmansworth teen

A 16-year-old boy from Rickmansworth was also sentenced on February 7 for possessing a knife in Rickmansworth on April 4 last year, and later a kitchen knife in Watford on September 2.

He also admitted possessing two Class A drugs, MDMA and the opioid Tapentadol, and the Class C drug Xanax on Whitelands Avenue on April 29, 2023.

The teen was given a youth rehabilitation order which requires him to complete 15 days of a reparation activity.

He must also wear an electronic tag and comply with a curfew from 9pm and 7am for three months.

'Urgent action needed'

Patrick Green, chief executive of the Ben Kinsella Trust, said the high rate of first-time offenders reflects a need for "urgent action and a shift in focus".

He added: "While all knife crime is unacceptable, the high proportion of first-time offenders is a red flag. It exposes a cycle where people are often drawn into violence and face potentially life-altering consequences.

"This is not just a criminal justice issue, but a societal one demanding a multifaceted response."