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Hampshire Police are intensifying efforts to tackle knife crime as part of a national week of action which starts today. Operation Sceptre will look at key themes such as prevention and education and officers will carry out targeted operations alongside partner agencies.
Operation Sceptre brings a nationwide focus to knife crime and with coronavirus restrictions easing, it’s more important than ever that forces are brought together to remind the public that police are targeting serious violence. The week of action provides the police with the opportunity to build on existing activity, highlighting at a national level the key prevention and engagement work taking place locally.
Police will again partner with Border Force nationally to monitor attempts to import weapons and will also work locally with schools and community members offering engagement and prevention advice to young people.
Early intervention remains a key part as forces look to identify and tackle the root causes of knife crime, with an aim of discouraging young people from carrying knives. Police continue to work closely with retailers and Trading Standards, including retailers that operate online, to ensure weapons are kept off our streets.
Putting aside significant falls in violence during lockdown periods, offences involving knives have been rising in recent years, however the determined work taking place across all forces has slowed that rate of increase.
National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for knife crime, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Graham McNulty, said: “Coronavirus has been a huge part of everyone’s lives for over a year now but we want to remind people that our normal policing role hasn’t stopped during this time.
“Forces are determined to tackle violent crime and with the restrictions easing, taking knives off our streets and helping people understand the dangers of carrying a knife remains a top priority.
“Our work with Border Force, Trading Standards, the Violence Reduction Units and many other partners means we are able to tackle some of the significant underlying causes of knife related violence.
“Operation Sceptre brings forces together and highlights that we will be united in doing everything possible to stop those intent on causing serious violence.”
Chief Inspector John Halfacre, lead for knife crime in Hampshire Constabulary, said: “The Force is supporting a national week of action against knife crime, and will be tackling these issues throughout the week to offer some reassurance to residents.
“Our focus is on those vulnerable people living within our communities who could be targeted by others connected with drug and knife-related crime, which can have a devastating impact.
“Part of this would not be possible if it wasn’t for residents letting us know about suspicious activity in their neighbourhoods. The information you give us helps us to build a real picture of what is going on and where we need to focus our resources.
“Silence will not stop violence. If you notice unusual activity in your street, or you are concerned about someone carrying a knife, please let us know, either by calling 101, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”