530 knives have been taken off the streets across Lancashire’s East Division as part of Operation Sceptre, a national knife crime week of action.
Officers from East Division, which covers the areas of Blackburn with Darwen, Hyndburn, Ribble Valley, Burnley, Pendle and Rossendale areas, carried out a range of operational activity and proactive engagement throughout the week.
Across the East Division, operational activity included:
- 30 targetted visits to known knife carriers and organised crime groups, resulting in 1 arrest for posession of a knife and several other arrests for violence related offences with weapons involved.
- Emptying of the divisions four knife bins, in which 515 knives were recovered.
- 8 weapon sweeps in local public areas.
- 6 test purchase visits to retailers of which two failed and were given warnings by Trading Standards.
- 21 school visited to raise awareness of the impact of carrying a knife.
Officers across the division engaged with almost 3,000 people through educational talks and community meetings.
In total, 16 retailers were visited throughout the week to ensure staff knew the laws regarding selling knives and bladed articles to the public.
Sergeant Gareth Brooks, from Lancashire’s Violence Reduction Network, said: “The impact of knife crime on individuals, families and the wider community is devastating. This is why tackling it not only during Op Sceptre, but throughout the year is a key priority.
Policing alone can’t solve knife crime or violence and it’s been really positive to see organisations coming together and working in collaboration to address some of the root causes of knife crime and tackle the social and cultural mindsets which contribute to people feeling the need to carry knives in the first place.
The successful results from East Division across the week have been a great opportunity to highlight and showcase the difference this work is making.”
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."