More than 7,500 knives seized during a week-long crackdown on knife crime in England and Wales

10th May, 2021 2:00 pm

More than 7,500 knives were recovered and over 2,000 suspects arrested during a week-long national crackdown on knife crime.

All 43 police forces in England and Wales took part in Operation Sceptre, which saw targeted searches, weapon sweeps and knife amnesties between 26 April and 2 May.

Officers arrested 2,131 people – with 604 detained specifically for knife crime. There were 758 knives seized and 6,792 knives surrendered or recovered during seven days of activity.

Knife detection arches were erected in schools and at train and bus stations while plain-clothes officers stepped up patrols in city centres.

Local initiatives saw officers from Thames Valley Police visit every primary school in their area while Derbyshire Police went to areas affected by knife crime in a van wrapped in knife-free slogans.

Test purchases were also carried out at 367 shops to make sure weapons were not being sold to under-18s. Police visited a total of 1,906 retailers, and almost 2,000 primary and secondary schools and community events.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Graham McNulty, the National Police Chiefs’ Council’s lead for knife crime, said: “Families are affected by knife crime every single day and we want our communities to feel safe and prevent these incidents from happening in the first place.

“We are doing all we can to remove weapons from our streets, target those carrying knives and prevent young people being drawn into violence. Enforcement is a crucial part of what we do but understanding the root causes and bringing in others outside of policing to help people is extremely important. We can’t tackle this alone.

Priti Patel said one of the “saddest aspects” of being the Home Secretary is “seeing families lose loved ones to the horror of knife crime” and the impact it has on communities.

She said: “I am determined to do everything I can to stop this misery and help save lives. Every knife taken off our streets means fewer communities ripped apart by the scourge of senseless violence.”

Ms Patel said the recruitment of 8,771 additional police officers and further investment in “essential youth intervention programmes” will support vulnerable young people at risk of serious and violent crime.

Police have urged anyone who suspects someone they know might be carrying a knife, or involved in knife crime, to contact them or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 “before it’s too late”.

Source: i on

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