From Monday 16th May to Sunday 22nd May, officers in Southampton supported Operation Sceptre, a national week of action to challenge and reduce knife crime. Here are some of our highlights from the week:
- Southampton West Neighbourhoods Policing Team carried out a knife sweep in the west of the city, seizing three knives and a crossbow.
- 31 stop and searches all related to knife crime were carried out in the city
- 10 knives were handed in to amnesty bins we set up
- Four arrests connected to knife crime were made
- One of these arrests took place at 1.20pm on 20 May in Lodge Road, Southampton. We received a report that a teenage boy had assaulted a social worker and damaged her car in Tennyson Road. Officers located the boy and upon arresting him in Lodge Road found a samurai sword in his rucksack and a flick locking knife in his hoodie pocket. The 16-year-old boy was arrested on suspicion of assault by beating of an emergency worker, possession of an offensive weapon in a public place, criminal damage to property valued under £5,000 and common assault. He has been released under investigation while enquiries continue. The weapons have been seized.
- Tactical cycle patrols in hotspot areas during the week
- Extra officers were on patrol in the night time economy (pictured) on Friday 20th May and Saturday 21st May to detect people carrying knives. Knife arches and knife wands were used outside venues.
- Officers went into schools to educate pupils about the dangers of carrying a knife. Among them was PC Richards, who visited Oasis Academy Sholing every day that week to do talks in small groups with Year 8 students (pictured). He said: “At the start of each session I asked: ‘Give me a legal reason for you guys to carry a knife in public?’ At every session a student replied ‘For self defence!’ This is not a legal reason or defence!”
- Just before the week began, on 13 May, officers conducting an address check in Manor Farm Road found and seized a zombie knife.
Chief Inspector John Halfacre, tactical lead for knife crime said: “With every operation, we seek to raise awareness of the dangers of carrying knives. While the police continue to take action to tackle those who carry weapons, we all have a duty and role to help keep each other safe.
“If you have concerns that someone is vulnerable and maybe drawn into crime or carrying a knife, speak to someone – the police, school, any trusted adult / professional – let’s get them the help they need and prevent future tragedies. In addition, if you have any information about someone carrying a knife or using weapons involved in violence, report it to police or anonymously to Crimestoppers.”
If you are aware of anyone who carries a knife or have concerns that someone you know may carry a knife, please report it to police or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.