67 knives taken from the streets of Teesside during Operation Sceptre
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A week of action to tackle knife crime has seen 67 knives removed from the streets of Teesside. Operation Sceptre, the national operation to tackle knife crime in all 43 forces across the UK, ran between Monday 13th and Sunday 19th November.
A total of 423 people were arrested as part of activity carried out throughout the week, with twelve of those arrested in connection with possession of a knife or bladed article.
A number of search warrants were executed, which resulted in the seizure of 15 knives, whilst three more blades were recovered during targeted hotspot patrols by the Proactive Team, and a further two following stop searches.
Pic: Officers carrying out a stop and search during targeted violence hotspot patrols.
47 knives were surrendered to knife amnesty bins located in the main police stations in Middlesbrough, Hartlepool, Stockton and Redcar.
Knife crime awareness sessions were delivered to students in schools across Teesside, whilst officers liaised with licensed premises across identified hotspots for violence, to carry out spot checks and encourage door staff to use knife wands.
Alongside the Sceptre week of activity, the force was running its knife crime awareness campaign ‘Carrying a Blade Doesn’t Give You an Edge’, aimed at young people aged 11-24, to help them to spot the early signs of being encouraged to carry a knife.
The campaign runs mainly on social media, with digital advertising targeting young people in areas with higher recorded rates of violent crime.
As part of the campaign, the force encourages teenagers to seek help if they feel they are being coerced into knife crime and to speak to someone they trust.
Acting Inspector Sarah Beadle, who is leading on the week of action said: “It’s always good to see knives which could cause serious harm, removed from our streets. Whether this is due to people heeding our messages on the dangers of carrying a knife, or down to targeted enforcement and arrest, the goal is the same, to eradicate violence across Teesside.
“Every day, police officers see first-hand the devastating effects of carrying bladed weapons. It is particularly concerning to see young people involved and hurt in these crimes, but we will continue to do all we can to engage, educate and encourage them not to carry a knife. It isn’t normal behaviour, very few young people do carry a knife, but with numbers rising on Teesside we want to ensure that there is help and guidance for anyone who needs it."
You can watch the real-life story of a Teesside teenager who found himself involved in knife crime, but managed to turn his life around, here: