West Mercia Police is encouraging members of the public to hand-in unwanted knives as part of a national knife surrender.
Monday, 15 November will see the launch of Operation Sceptre, led by the Home Office, to help continue ongoing efforts to tackle knife crime.
Thankfully, levels of knife crime in the towns and cities covered by West Mercia Police are relatively low in comparison to other parts of the country, however, its vital work to help keep these levels low.
In order to help, police are encouraging members of the public to hand-in unwanted knives to prevent them from getting into the wrong hands and being used in crime.
Throughout the week officers will be working to raise awareness of the dangers of carrying a knife and speaking to children and young people where possible.
Surrender bins will be in place at Hereford, Redditch, Worcester, Kidderminster, Malinsgate and Monkmoor Police Stations and any unwanted knife or bladed weapon can be deposited.
During the week, as we do all year round, if we have information someone in a property may be involved in knife crime, or crime associated with knives such as county lines drug dealing officers will carry out warrants at these locations.
Community sweeps will take place bringing whole communities together to clear areas of discarded sharp objects that could potentially be used as a weapon.
West Mercia Police’s knife crime lead and head of local policing, Chief Superintendent Paul Moxley, said: “Fortunately, we do not experience the same levels of knife crime in our towns and cities as we have seen in other parts of the country, however that doesn’t mean we are complacent. We know it does happen and it is vital we take the appropriate steps to prevent young people from carrying a knife and prevent crimes involving knives.
“We have increased the number of officers in our teams who specifically take on an early intervention and intervention role with children and young people across the force area. I firmly believe early intervention is crucial in deterring young people from becoming involved in a knife culture. For the past two years, our successful ‘Steer Clear’ programme has helped young people involved in, or on the periphery of being involved in, knife crime find an alternative route and we deliver this programme across our three counties.
“One knife incident, one person hurt, is one too many and the more we do to stop knives getting into the wrong hands and being used in crime the better.”
During Operation Sceptre which will run until Sunday 21 November, unwanted knives can be disposed of with no questions asked in secure knife bins at Hereford, Redditch, Worcester, Kidderminster, Malinsgate and Monkmoor Police Stations. Each policing area will also have a Knife Arch which will be in place at key locations such as train stations and local schools to highlight the steps police are taking to prevent people from carrying a knife in public.
Anyone who is concerned a young person is involved in or on the periphery of becoming involved in knife crime and carrying a knife can report this anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
More information for young people about the stark consequences of knife crime can be found at www.fearless.org where concerns can also be reported anonymously.