Force continues to take knives off the street
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A week long operation to target knife crime has led to 13 arrests and a quantity of knives being taken off the streets.
Operation Sceptre formed part of a national campaign aimed at reducing knife crime by targeting those carrying weapons and disrupt the supply of knives available to use.
In all, 19 knives were seized by officers, while eight were handed in to knife surrender bins around Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.
As part of the week, officers conducted a knife sweep in the New Parks area of Leicester and visited habitual knife carriers across the city and county. They also conducted proactive patrols and a number of stop and search activity where appropriate.
Inspector Ian Weston, knife crime coordinator for the force, said: “This was part of a national campaign and clearly, given the situation we now find ourselves in, has had to be scaled back.
“Despite resources being stretched in some places, we were keen to continue this operation and show those who carry knives that this remains a force priority and will not be tolerated.
“Officers had planned to go into schools to speak to young people about the dangers and consequences of knife crime as part of our Lives Not Knives campaign, but clearly this wasn’t possible under the circumstances.
“Nevertheless, there are resources available to adults and young people through our website and we would point people who may have any concerns about their own behaviour, a family member or friend, to go here where they will find advice and support.
“Carrying a knife, even for protective purposes, puts you at greater risk of becoming a victim yourself.”
Last week, 17-year-old Dylan West of Bonneville Road, Hinckley, was jailed for the manslaughter of Joshua Taylor.
Joshua, 18 years, was stabbed and died in October after the pair, who had spent the evening together, became involved in an argument.
West was jailed for eight years and six months for manslaughter and two counts of possession of a bladed weapon.
Superintendent Shane O’Neill, who leads the force’s response to knife crime, said: “I hope this tragic incident serves as a warning to others that carrying a knife has dangerous consequences. There can be no excuses.”
He added: “I’m pleased that although our force is dealing with other priorities at the moment, this operation was still able to go ahead in some form.
“The force is continuing its work in other areas and we will not be deterred from preventing knife crime now and in the future.”
Leicestershire's Police and Crime Commissioner, Lord Willy Bach, said: "People will be reassured to hear that even in these extraordinary times Leicestershire Police is still tackling knife crime.
"I’m proud to see that the force continued to take part in this operation and with such positive results.
“Despite the focus on Covid-19 those who carry knives need to realise that it remains unacceptable with serious consequences.”