The CPD Accreditation Group

Education programme developed to tackle ‘escalating’ knife crime culture

(L-R) Derry Barton and John DuffTwo ex-soldiers have vowed to help tackle the country’s knife crime epidemic by educating young people about its devastating effects.

Friends John Duff and Derry Barton, former Corporals with the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment, based in Preston, have launched a new initiative after being shocked by the level of violent crime in the UK following five years stationed in Abu Dhabi.

In October the National Crime Survey stated there was a total of 47,513 offences involving knives or sharp instruments reported to police in the 12 months leading up to June.

John and Derry decided they needed to do something and re-invented themselves, putting their army careers behind them, creating an anti-knife crime programme for young people aged 13 and above.

John said: “We’d only been back to the UK twice during a five-year period and couldn’t believe the wave of violent knife crime that had gripped the nation. We discussed how we could help change things and thought about developing tailored courses for young people in a bid to tackle the escalating knife crime epidemic.”

The free online course they developed, in partnership with Psittacus Systems, has now been accredited by The CPD Accreditation Group. The organisation provides CPD accreditation to training partners and providers throughout the UK.

The programme features statistics, case studies, and useful tips to avoid confrontation.

John added: “We’ve got to give young people hope. By the end of 2019, hundreds of people will have been killed by a blade in Britain. By delivering our course to those who work with young people we are beginning to look at what is causing this violent knife crime epidemic, and what we can do to stop it.

“We want to get inside the minds of young people and make them think about what they are doing before they do it. You need to educate people in order to do that.”

According to the National Crime Survey threats to kill, where a knife or sharp instrument was involved in England and Wales (excluding Greater Manchester) rose by 178 per cent from 1,352 in the period from April 2010 to March 2011 to 3,764 from July 2018 to June 2019.

Attempted murder involving a knife or sharp instrument rose by 90 per cent from 217 in the period April 2010 to March 2011 to 412 from July 2018 to June 2019.

Mick Judge, Accreditation and Quality manager of The CPD Accreditation Group, said: “The CPD Accreditation Group helps organisations formalise knowledge into a structured and recognised approach to meet the increasing expectation for professionals to undertake CPD regardless of industry sector, career level, job role and responsibilities. Formally certified CPD materials are more likely to become accepted and welcomed by audiences.

“Once Derry and John explained their vision we put our full weight behind it.”

Together with Andy Donnachie (Project Manager) and the Quality Assurance Team of Psittacus Systems, one of the fastest-growing bespoke software developers in the UK and host to the Psittacus Learning Management System; Mick, John and Derry have successfully developed the programme, which is now live.”

Andy, said: “This inspiring course will go a long way to raise awareness about knife crime in schools and at home. It has been designed for everyone to use in a bid to tackle this growing problem and we will be circulating it to anyone and everyone, for free, using our existing platform. We believe this is such an important subject that we were really happy to work with, and to support, John and Derry to get the message out there.”

Anyone can set up a free on-line account by visiting: