Op Sceptre: 48 arrested in police operation to tackle knife crime
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Last week between Monday 14th – Sunday 20th November, officers made 48 arrests and recovered 213 knives in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, as part of Operation Sceptre; in a continuing effort to tackle knife crime and make the streets of our communities safer.
A nationally run campaign, Operation Sceptre provides a snapshot of some the valuable work already being done across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.
Twelve knives were taken off the streets and eight arrests were made (7 of these knife-related offences) following 63 stop and searches.
In an effort to tackle violence on the streets and to deter those from carrying knives temporary surrender bins were available throughout the week of action, with 164 knives and bladed items handed in anonymously.
During the week, members of the neighbourhood policing teams joined partner agencies to hold community engagement events across the county; some of these involved talks by ex-offenders sharing their lived experiences. Weapon sweeps in parks and open spaces were conducted with the support of metal detection groups. Education workshops were given at secondary schools and licensing teams visited retailers in efforts to check and ensure they are legally compliant and supporting our approach by not selling knives to Under 18s.
Chief Inspector John Halfacre, lead for knife crime in Force, said: “During this week our activities continued the work we’ve been carrying out with our partners agencies, to not only tackle knife related offending but also to ensure the next generation understands the risks of carrying a knife through engagement, education, prevention and enforcement.
“It is important to remember that most of us do not carry knives and will probably never be affected by knife crime – which is why we must dispel the myths around carrying a knife to help prevent anyone picking one up in the first place.
“We want to make it clear that carrying a knife really doesn’t make you safer, it can be used against you, it’s also illegal and can potentially result in prison sentence and puts yours and others lives at risk.
“Education and prevention are key, and our officers and staff have continued to work hard across the county, visiting schools, retailers, and licensed premises and holding community events to talk about the dangers and raise awareness of knife crime.
“However we will take a robust action against those who break the law as the results have shown, and just as this week is over, our work is ongoing as we proactively tackle this type of violent offending.”
PCC Donna Jones said: “I commend the policing teams and wider partners involved in this week of action. The proactive policing effort has delivered some excellent results and has taken a huge number of weapons off of our streets, which will no doubt save lives.
“More police on the streets, more visibility and more stops and searches is a clear deterrent, it takes dangerous people off the streets and protects young lives. In the background, education and awareness is key if we are to achieve long term societal change. As your Police and Crime Commissioner, I am committed to having a zero tolerance to knife crime by funding early intervention and prevention projects which focus on stopping young people from committing crimes, particularly those that result in serious violence and injury.
“Schools, parents and guardians of young people also have a responsibility to educate and take action to prevent young people from carrying knives and it has been great to see the wider community and support agencies engaging with young people on this topic.”
If you have any information or concerns about knife crime in your community, you can report non-emergency crime to 101, visit our website or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111. In an emergency always, call 999.
You can find more information on knife crime at www.Fearless.org