Operation Sceptre, a weeklong initiative to tackle knife crime, starts today, Monday 16th May until Sunday 22nd May.
Hampshire and the Isle of Wight is part of 43 forces (England and Wales) and the British Transport Police who will take part in the efforts to crack down on knife-enable crime and violence.
The week of action will see an intensification of work that takes place across the county day in day out to tackle knife crime. It gives us an opportunity to focus on the different strands of education, engagement, prevention and enforcement, all of which are important in playing our part to reduce knife crime.
Engaging with retailers, youth groups and charities will be an important part of the week. Policing is working to target the root causes of knife crime, and early intervention will aim to stop those intent on carrying a knife. Work with youth groups and charities are a vital part of a communities led policing response.
The Force will continue to work closely with young people to further understand the reasons why individuals carry knives and to educate them around the dangers and illegality of carrying one.
Most importantly, the week will aim to highlight that there are no positives to carrying a knife.
Hampshire Constabulary’s lead for knife crime, Chief Inspector John Halfarce, said:
“Knife crime can have a devastating impact on families and communities, police forces are working night and day to tackle this problem. Operation Sceptre offers us the chance to concentrate our efforts in tackling knife crime, a significant contributor of violence in the UK.
“The week will focus on many different areas, including education, engagement and prevention. This is a system wide approach and one we work closely with our partners to achieve. We are intensifying the efforts that take place all year round in getting knives off the streets, potentially saving lives.
“We want those who may be carrying a knife out of fear to come forward and speak with police or an adult that they can trust such as a youth worker, teacher at school, charities or by calling crimestoppers. We want to help young people get out of the cycle of violence and stop the devastation caused to them and their families due to knife crime.
“You will see knife arches, amnesty bins and officers doing weapons sweeps during the week as we work to remove knives and stop serious violence on our streets.”
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.