Earlier this month, we conducted a series of activities in support of Operation Sceptre, the national week of action to challenge and reduce the threat of knife crime.
Op Sceptre ran from Monday 15 November to Sunday 21 November with knife amnesty bins in place at police station front counters across the force area. These allow members of the public to dispose of unwanted knives safely in order to prevent them from finding their way onto the streets.
Overall, a total of 294 knives and bladed weapons were surrendered throughout the week as well as 50 weapons sweeps which are searches conducted in areas known for weapons being deposited.
In a move designed to help with our year round approach to early intervention and knife crime, knife bins will remain in place beyond the surrender week.
Officers across the force also carried out a number of other proactive activities in an effort to tackle knife crime, which included 88 visits to schools and colleges by officers to educate young people in the dangers of carrying a knife, speaking to over 15,000 students and school children. These early intervention exercises were supported by other events such as our Steer Clear workshops which were extremely well attended and received.
In addition, 80 test purchase operations were also carried out in partnership across the force as well as officers attending community meetings and conducting high visibility patrols, media events, town pop up stands, 28 leaflet drops and 7 arrests.
Chief Superintended Paul Moxley who is the force lead for Operation Sceptre, said: “We remain totally committed to reducing the threat of knife crime within our communities and reducing the number of victims of knife crime.
“Operation Sceptre is a national week of action that highlights our work to tackle this crime type, however it is important to stress that our work continues beyond this week of action and our officers are working every day to reduce the number of knives being carried and the number of people being hurt by them.
“As always the public have a very import part to play in helping to keep knives off our streets. They can help us as an extra of eyes and ears in our fight against serious violence and knife crime, and by making a report to us you could help save a life.”
“If you are worried that someone you know is carrying a knife, please report it. We can then take the necessary steps to safeguard them.
If you need to report a knife related crime to police, please report it to us online via our website call 101 or dial 999 in an emergency if there is an immediate danger to life.