1,105 knives have been recovered throughout Lancashire as part of Operation Sceptre, a national knife crime week of action.
The Lancashire Violence Reduction Network coordinated activity with Lancashire Constabulary and other partner agencies to target those who choose to carry dangerous weapons, raise awareness of the consequences, and engage with retailers who sell bladed articles.
Operational activity throughout the week included;
- 32 weapon sweeps in public areas
- Test purchasing at 51 retailers
- 12 search warrants
- 370 stop and searches
- 122 direct arrests
Local knife crime campaigners, community groups and police cadets assisted the police and got involved with some of the initiatives throughout the week.
Officers emptied Lancashire’s 16 surrender bins located across the county and recovered 1,079 weapons from inside them. Weapons included machetes, swords and a variety of knives.
Over 7,000 young people were spoken to across the week including school and youth club visits by Byron Highton from The JJ Effect CIC and community meetings led by Lancashire police officers.
Over 40 schools received visits during the week to raise awareness of the impact of knife crime.
Chief Inspector Dave Oldfield, from Lancashire’s Violence Reduction Network said:
“The results have clearly shown the positive impact of the work of the Lancashire Violence Reduction Network, Lancashire Police and our partners and communities in keeping knives off the street, but we know that there is more to do.
We all have a part to play in preventing knife crime, and I would urge those that know someone who might be carrying a knife to use one of our surrender bins located across the county.
We are committed to tackling the root causes of violence in Lancashire and will continue to work closely with our partners, including local authorities, NHS, prisons and education amongst others to ensure that every opportunity is being taken to make our communities and streets safer.”
Police and Crime Commissioner Andrew Snowden said:
"I am really pleased to see the results from Op Sceptre which clearly show the impact of the work that the Violence Reduction Network, Lancashire Constabulary and partners are carrying out across Lancashire.
"Every single knife that is taken off the streets, whether surrendered using one of the knife bins across Lancashire or as part of the vital work of our officers, is one less weapon that could end or ruin lives.
“In leading the fight against crime, I will continue to support this vital work to prevent knife crime and bring those who carry knives and endanger lives to justice."