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Officers and PSCOS from Neighbourhood Policing Teams across Northamptonshire took part in a successful dedicated Op Sceptre week of action last week.
Superintendent Adam Ward said: "This week of action forms part of Op Sceptre, our dedicated operation to prevent and tackle knife crime and I’m really pleased with the results across the county. While the vast majority of people don't carry knives or get involved with knife crime, we are working hard, with partner agencies, to tackle the knife crime offences that do occur and to help prevent them from happening in the first place.
"Not only do we take robust action against offenders, we also engage with people to make them aware of the dangers involved in carrying a knife. During the week of action officers and PSCOs have been out and about across the county, talking to people about knife crime and targeting hotspots. This work is an ongoing priority for us and the results and findings will also help inform future operational activity too. There will be further weeks of action in the coming weeks and months.”
Running from Monday, March 29 to Friday, April 2, the activity focused on areas across the county including Northampton, Wellingborough, Kettering, Corby and East Northamptonshire. Officers and PSCOs from Neighbourhood Policing Teams were out and about talking to people and community groups about knife crime and put a letter through doors to raise awareness and encourage people to report knife crime or suspicious activity.
Weapons sweeps resulted in nine weapons being seized and the teams had positive feedback from members of the public about what they were doing.
As well as engaging with people, robust action was also taken against offenders. On Sunday, March 28, a 28-year-old man from Wellingborough was charged for carrying a Stanley knife in public and a 27-year-old man from Corby, was charged on Monday, March 29, after being found carrying a kitchen knife in Corby. Seven further people were arrested and were either released on bail or under investigation.
Superintendent Ward said: "We want to make people aware that carrying a knife really doesn't make you safer - it can be used against you - it's also illegal, can potentially result in a prison sentence and puts yours and others' lives at risk. Prevention is key and if you don't carry a knife this can't happen in the first place. We are also working, with schools and partner agencies, to raise awareness among young people of the misconceptions around carrying knives and the very serious potential consequences, and we’re urging parents to also be mindful of this advice.
"As well as prevention and education, we’re taking robust action against those breaking the law and getting involved in knife crime as this week's results have shown. This work is ongoing and officers will be continuing to proactively tackle this.
“It's really important that we all work together to reduce the harm caused by knives in our communities and we can be much more effective if people come to us with concerns. If you need advice, help or want to report knife crime please do get in contact with us, or if you'd prefer to remain anonymous get in touch with Crimestoppers."
You can find out more about Op Sceptre here.
Northamptonshire Police can be contacted on 101 - always call 999 in an emergency.
Crimestoppers can be called anonymously on 0800 555 111.