Operation Sceptre yields good results across the county
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Northamptonshire Police stepped up its activities to prevent and tackle knife crime across the county as part of the national initiative - Operation Sceptre.
Officers and staff joined their colleagues from across the UK to take part in the week of action between November 15-21, which coincided with the Force’s three-month knife crime campaign launched in October.
Since October 1, with the support of partner agencies, the Force has increased its policing activities through targeted community engagement and raising awareness of the common misconceptions around carrying knives.
Operation Sceptre provided another opportunity for the Force to continue its focus on the different strands of education, engagement, prevention, and enforcement, all of which are important to reduce knife crime.
During the week of intensification activity, members of the neighbourhood policing teams joined partner agencies to hold 19 community engagements events across the county, gave talks at 11 secondary schools and visited nine retailers.
Other activities included 22 uniformed and plain clothes patrols in hot spot areas where knife crime is more prevalent, resulting in the recovery of two knives and five people arrested on suspicion of knife-related offences.
Three more knives were taken off the streets and three further arrests were made following 83 stop searches, while four knives were recovered as part of 42 weapon sweeps in the community.
More than 100 knives were safely removed from the streets after being handed in at one of 50 knife amnesty events, while officers utilised three knife arches during the night-time economy.
Finally, with the support of the Northamptonshire Emergency Services Cadets, checks to make sure shops were not breaking the law by selling knives to under 18s, were carried out at 21 stores.
Of those visited the majority acted legally and responsibly, and rightly refused to sell the young volunteers any bladed articles, however, eight did sell a knife to the cadets, who were all under 18.
For the limited number that fell short of expectations and requirements in Corby, Kettering, Daventry, Brixworth and Long Buckby, the retailers were given written warnings or issued words of advice. The Force will be working with them to ensure they are legally compliant and supporting our approach.
Superintendent Adam Ward, who is Northamptonshire Police’s knife crime lead, said: "The Operation Sceptre week of action, provides an opportunity for us all to work together to reduce the risk and harm – and loss of lives – of knife crime which is a matter of priority for us and our colleagues across the UK.
“During this week, our activities continued the work we’ve been carrying out with our partner 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’s 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, can potentially result in a prison sentence and puts yours and others' lives at risk.
“Education and prevention are key, and our officers and staff have continued their hard work across the county, visiting schools, retailers and licensed premises and holding community events to talk about and raise awareness of knife crime.
“However, we will also continue to take robust action against those who break the law as the results have shown, and just because this week of action is over, our work is ongoing as we proactively tackle this type of offending.”
Find out more about how Northamptonshire Police is preventing and tackling knife crime here.
If you have any information or concerns about knife crime in your community, you can report non-emergency crime to 101, visit www.northants.police.uk/RO or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111. In an emergency always call 999.