87 Knives Taken off the Streets During Op Sceptre Week of Action
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87 knives were removed from Cleveland’s streets during last week’s Operation Sceptre, which ran between 15th May and 21st May.
As part of Operation Sceptre, an initiative to tackle knife crime across the country, all 43 forces across England and Wales, along with the British Transport Police, took part in a week of intensified efforts to crack down on knife enabled crime and violence.
63 of the knives recovered in Cleveland were surrendered anonymously to the amnesty bins in police station during the week of action.
With a focus on enforcement, encouragement and education throughout the week, and working closely with our partners, officers stopped and searched 179 people resulting in the recovery of 11 knives.
A staggering total of 381 arrests were made across the Force throughout the week, with 23 of these a direct result of Op Sceptre activity.
Neighbourhood officers visited 19 schools across Teesside over the course of the week to provide educational sessions on the dangers of knife crime. Officers delivered the ‘No More Knives’ presentation in person to some students, but it was also streamed into classrooms in three of the schools visited with an aim of capturing all students.
‘Beyond the Blade’ webinars were delivered online by Barnados, with ‘Lads Like Us’ providing valuable lived experience insight on the issue to young people, schools, parents, carers and professionals, highlighting how to spot the signs of youngsters who may be at risk of becoming knife carriers or becoming involved in knife crime.
Visits were also made to vulnerable children identified as at risk of exploitation, in serious violence and gang related activity, to chat about options available to them.
Local stores were visited by Neighbourhood Teams to raise awareness of Op Sceptre and to remind retailers of the law around the sale of knives and sharp implements to children under 18. Whilst a test purchase operation carried out with Hartlepool Trading Standards at six stores in the town proved that some stores are still selling knives and sharp implements to underage youngsters. Three of the stores failed the test and received written warnings from Trading Standards.
Temporary Chief Inspector Dave Glass, who led on the week of action, said: “The results are really promising. Our officers are targeting the right people with stop and search to remove knives from our streets.
“Our engagement and education messaging would certainly appear to be working, with 63 knives surrendered in the amnesty.
“The messages delivered to youngsters were a stark warning of the real-life consequences of carrying a knife, asking them to speak to friends who may be carrying knives and encouraging them to surrender them.
“They were also asked to think about the worry and pain that their parents, relatives and friends may go through, reminded of the law relating to carrying a knife, and informed that if caught they could face a criminal record which could impact on future career aspirations and ambitions, and also any travel plans they have.
“There was also messaging for parents and carers on how to spot the signs of young people who may be at risk of becoming knife carriers, encouraging them to talk about the subject and advice on where to seek help.”