A week-long anti knife crime operation carried out by Leicestershire Police led to 36 arrests and more than 50 knives being taken off the streets.
Operation Sceptre formed part of a national intensification campaign by police forces aimed at reducing knife crime by targeting those carrying weapons and disrupting the supply of knives available to use.
It led to 36 arrests, 12 of which were directly related to knife crime offences and a quantity of weapons being taken off the streets.
In all, nine knives were seized by officers, three knives were recovered during 15 knife sweeps across the county and a total of 48 knives were recovered from knife surrender bins around Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.
As part of the week, officers conducted knife sweeps, deployed portable knife arches, conducted proactive patrols and performed a number of stop and search activities where appropriate.
Working in tandem with local partners, community colleges and schools, officers supported with more than 30 anti-knife and drug events and engaging with 8,000 people across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.
Online, officers conducted digital knife crime awareness sessions, these were hosted virtually and attended by in excess of 4,000 students and teachers.
Officers also attended community meetings and co-ordinated 18 test purchase operations in shops to ensure business were selling knives, which are age-restricted products, legally.
The We Don’t Carry #LivesNotKnives online campaign reached over 350,000 people across digital and social media channels.
Detective Chief Inspector Gavin Drummond, from Leicestershire Police’s Violent and Complex Crime Unit, who led the operation said:
“Working closely as a force and with our partners across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland we have recorded some great proactive results.
“The operation reflects our commitment to working alongside local agencies and the community to prevent knife crime. Whilst policing plays an essential role in enforcement activity we want to continue to work together alongside our Violence Reduction Network to embed a community-led approach to prevention and enforcement, by working together and taking a unified approach we will ultimately be more effective in reducing knife crime.
“It is important that we all take a role in supporting our young people to make positive choices and facilitate conversations that bring about change, help and support is available and resources can be found on our website.
“Ultimately, knife crime will not be tolerated, we will continue to tackle knife crime as a force priority and we will continue to work collaboratively to do everything we can to catch offenders and deal with them correctly.”
If you are looking for help and support, please visit Leicestershire Police’s website. If you are a concerned family member or friend there is also information on the website to help you. Why not start the conversation today using our a 10 step guide?