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Knife arch helps to protect communities in Redditch and Kidderminster in week of activity

Last week, officers from across South West Mercia Police educated the public about the dangers of knife crime as part of our Protect campaign to tackle serious organised crime (SOC).

Secure surrender bins where members of the public could anonymously surrender their knives were placed in Hereford, Kidderminster, Redditch and Worcester stations from 18 - 24 September as part of the knife amnesty - Operation Sceptre.

Additionally to this, the Safer Neighbourhood Teams in Redditch and Kidderminster teamed up with British Transport Police (BTP) and the revenues office to ask members of the public to walk through a knife arch and check train tickets as they leave the train station.

Members of the public were asked to walk through the arch, which works in a similar way to airport scanners, and also had their tickets checked by BTP.  Over the course of the two days more than 120 people walked through the arch located outside the various train stations and one knife was seized. Five stop and searches were also performed in Redditch.

Inspector Lewis Lincoln-Gordon said: "We want to reassure residents in our communities who've raised concerns about people carrying knives, that we are doing our utmost to catch individuals and to seize offensive weapons.

"Initiatives like the knife arch that was used in Redditch and Kidderminster are being rolled out as part of our Protect campaign to tackle serious organised crime, disrupt criminal activity and protect our local communities alongside the aims of Operation Sceptre.

He continued: "I would like to send out a clear message that it is not acceptable to carry knives, and that doing so could have fatal consequences. We will continue to work closely with our partners to carry out work to deter people from carrying knives."

Protect is a campaign being run by West Mercia Police and Warwickshire Police alongside a range of partner agencies to tackle serious and organised crime (SOC).

The broad-ranging operation covers four key areas of activity:

  • Pursue - prosecuting and disrupting those involved in SOC

  • Prevent - stopping individuals from becoming involved in SOC

  • Protect - increased levels of protection against SOC

  • Prepare - reducing the impact of SOC where it occurs

Issued: 6.15pm, Wednesday 26 September, MC, Corporate Communications

Published 26/09/18