Operation Sceptre - crackdown on knife crime continues
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Northamptonshire Police joined other forces across the county to take part in a national week of action to raise awareness of knife crime.
Operation Sceptre, from 16 – 23 September, saw officers conducting weapon sweeps and targeting habitual knife carriers, as well as engaging with children and young people to educate them about the risks of carrying a knife.
The focus for the week was Kettering and Corby, where officers conducted 15 weapon sweeps, resulting in a number of knives being recovered from bushes and undergrowth. In addition, 19 knives were surrendered in amnesty bins located at engagement events in both towns.
Twelve test purchase operations were carried out with the help of Northamptonshire Emergency Services Cadets, to ensure retailers were not selling knives to under 18s. Four of these failed and were given warnings - they will be re-tested at a later date. Cadets also helped deliver 2500 crime prevention leaflets in public places like Corby train station, where there was also a knife arch which was well received by the public.
Officers attended local colleges and schools to speak to young people about the dangers of knife crime and the potential consequences if they are found to be in possession of one.
Superintendent Dennis Murray said: “The week of action was very well received by the public, who can be reassured we continue to fight knife crime on a daily basis. The enforcement and proactive work we do is only one part of the solution to this issue – I urge parents and carers to talk to their children about the hazards of carrying a knife.
“Operation Sceptre coincided with the sentencing of a young man who was just 16 when he killed 17-year-old teenager, Louis-Ryan Menezes. Amari Smith, 18, of Penfold Close, Kingsthorpe, was sentenced to 9 years and 4 months in prison for inflicting a single stab wound on Louis.
“Nothing can give a starker warning to people everywhere - carrying a knife does not protect you - it can ruin your life forever. This case demonstrates in the most tragic way possible, there is never a good reason to carry a knife.
“We will continue to work relentlessly to challenge and prevent violence and to keep our young people and communities safe."
Anyone who has any information about suspicious behaviour in their area or information about people carrying knives is urged to contact the police on 101.
Reports can also be made anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.