WITH its historic buildings, beautiful setting and world-class hospitals and institutions, Oxford is famous throughout the world as a beacon of all that is good about this country.

But our spires and ivy-clad quads hide a darker reality – and one which can no longer be ignored: knife crime.

Read more: Oxford MPs back campaign against 'growing worry' of knife crime

On city streets and quiet residential roads, we are seeing people cut down, injured and even killed in disputes which are being settled at knifepoint.

This year alone, we have seen a horrifying series of bloody incidents involving blades.

These include the death of 32-year-old Tobias Bruce after he was stabbed in Littlemore. Just four days after that attack, a stab victim was hospitalised following an assault in Barton.

In another horrifying incident, worshippers at the city’s Central Mosque came to the rescue of a man who had been stabbed nearby. Their quick thinking and bravery may have prevented another tragedy.

Knife crime is nothing new, of course, and is thankfully falling. But these recent incidents have sparked serious concern – and calls to tackle the problem.

thisisoxfordshire: Knife crime casts a dark shadow over our city. Picture: Damian HalliwellKnife crime casts a dark shadow over our city. Picture: Damian Halliwell

Today the Oxford Mail is launching a Safer Streets campaign to help combat knife crime.

We are calling for the setting up of a city-wide taskforce of interested parties to gather ideas on how to tackle and stop knife crime in Oxford.

While there is no easy solution, we know we have the support of Thames Valley Police, Thames Valley Violence Prevention Partnership and local politicians – all dedicated to making the streets safer for all.

We can make a difference with efforts such as speaking to young people, exploring the dangers of social media, educating people through schools and outreach groups, and highlighting initiatives – like amnesties – to get weapons off the streets.

Read more: The horrific Oxford attacks that led to the launch of our anti knife-crime campaign 

And we are calling on politicians to make meaningful change.

It’s not a blame game. We want to use our position within the community to amplify your calls for change.

This bold campaign will feature prominently in the pages of the Oxford Mail and on our website oxfordmail.co.uk. And it will involve not only those in positions of authority, but community figures, relatives of those injured, and – most importantly – you, our valued readers.

So tell us what you think should be done.

Together we can make a difference and help create Safer Streets.