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Over 7,500 knives taken by police forces during national knife crime campaign

10 May 2021

Over 7,500 knives taken by police forces during national knife crime campaign: NPCC Sceptre blue

Over 7,500 knives have been seized and surrendered as part of a coordinated effort to tackle knife crime across England and Wales.

Between Monday 26 April and Sunday 2 May, police officers arrested 2,131 people as part of Operation Sceptre, with 604 of those relating specifically to knife crime.

Operation Sceptre is a national week of intensified action to tackle knife crime and raise awareness of prevention work, education and activity with partners such as Crimestoppers and violence reduction units.

There were 758 knives seized and 6,792 knives surrendered or recovered from weapon sweeps.

Here are some of the tactics used by police officers across the country.

  • Knife detection arches in schools and transport hubs
  • Joint operations with British Transport Police
  • Visits to primary and secondary schools
  • Retail visits making sure retailers were adhering to the law and weren’t selling weapons to under 18s
  • Plain clothed officers sent on patrols in city centres and areas of knife crime
  • Searches and weapon sweeps in local parks alongside community councils and youth volunteers

Other local initiatives included Thames Valley Police visiting every primary school in their area and Derbyshire Police patrolling the city and areas of knife crime in a van wrapped with anti-knife crime messages.

There were 1,906 retailer visits carried out, 367 test purchases and almost 2,000 engagement visits at schools and community meetings.

National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for knife crime, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Graham McNulty, said:

“Knife crime can have a devastating impact on communities across the country and we are doing all we can to remove weapons from our streets, target those carrying knives and prevent young people being drawn into violence.

“Enforcement is a crucial part of what we do but understanding the root causes and bringing in others outside of policing to help people is extremely important. We can’t tackle this alone.

“Police forces come up with ways to target knife crime during this week of action on top of work they do all year round. Families are affected by knife crime every single day and we want our communities to feel safe and prevent these incidents from happening in the first place.

“If anyone has any concerns about someone they know who might be carrying a knife, or involved in knife crime, please have the courage to speak to us before it’s too late or contact the charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”

Home Secretary Priti Patel said: 

“One of the saddest aspects of my role as Home Secretary is seeing families lose loved ones to the horror of knife crime and the devastating impact this has. This is why I am determined to do everything I can to stop this misery and help save lives. 

“Every knife taken off our streets means fewer communities ripped apart by the scourge of senseless violence. I am backing the police nationwide to take thousands of weapons off our streets and make thousands of arrests after a week of targeted action to stop this.

“But our collective fight against knife crime does not end here. We have already recruited 8,771 additional police officers and are investing millions in essential youth intervention programmes and youth organisations to support young vulnerable people who are at risk of serious and violent crime.”