This week Leicestershire Police is joining police forces up and down the country to support ‘Operation Sceptre’ – a week-long national campaign aimed at tackling knife crime.
Taking place between Monday 15 November and Sunday 21 November 2021, Operation Sceptre will see the police service across the UK highlighting the risks that carrying a bladed weapon can bring, as well as targeting offenders who use and carry knives in the area.
Across the week in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland officers will be carrying out a variety of policing activity including visiting schools to talk to students; using a knife arch in key locations; carrying out knife ‘sweeps’ in parks and other locations; visiting habitual knife carriers and liaising with shops who sell knives to ensure they are challenging anyone who they believe to be under 18 and ensuring that any knives are being displayed in a safe, secure and appropriate manner.
Teachers are also being encouraged to sign up to one of a series of anti-knife crime digital workshops for secondary schools across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland. The free one-hour workshops will cover a variety of knife crime related information and have been designed to support the Personal and Social Education (PSE) curriculum objectives with material that will engage students.
People can also surrender any unwanted knives and blades safely at special amnesty bins located at police station front counters. The bins allow anybody to dispose of knives without the fear of being punished unless it is found to have been used for a criminal act.
Amnesty bins can be found at the following stations:
Keyham Lane Police Station, Colin Grundy Drive, Hamilton LE5 1FY
Mansfield House Police Station, 74 Belgrave Gate, Leicester LE1 3GG
Spinney Hill Police Station, East Park Road, Leicester LE5 5GY
Detective Chief Inspector Gavin Drummond, from the Violent and Complex Crime Unit, said; “Whilst the vast majority of people don't carry knives or get involved with knife crime, we are working hard, with partner agencies, to tackle the knife crime offences that do occur and help prevent incidents from happening in the first place.
“Knives are dangerous and there is no place for them on our streets. Carrying knives or other weapons do not keep people safe. People who carry a knife put themselves in much greater danger and more likely to become involved in a violent situation and get injured.
“We have seen the devastating impact knife crime can have, often tearing families and communities apart, and that is why it is so important to educate people about the dangers of carrying a knife and arrest those who refuse to listen.”
Grace Strong, Strategic Director of the Violence Reduction Network, added: “The VRN is a multi-agency partnership determined to tackle the causes of violence affecting young people across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland. The reasons that some young people carry and use weapons, including knives, are multiple and complex. The Police are an active member of the VRN and play a crucial role in tackling knife-related violence but we all have a part to play when it comes to prevention.
“By providing the right support and interventions and through involving young people and communities in the solutions, we can reduce and prevent violence. The VRN currently fund a range of initiatives in schools, communities, health and criminal justice settings with this aim.
“Accurate and balanced information for young people about knife carrying is also vital. We’re pleased to have supported the police in developing the ‘We don’t carry, lives not knives’ information campaign for 12-25-year olds and encourage everyone to promote these resources across their networks.”
Leicestershire Police’s long-standing anti-knife crime campaign ‘We Don’t Carry #Livesnotknives’ has been developed with teenagers and young people specifically in mind and aims to educate them about the dangers of carrying a knife as early as possible.
It’s hoped that by highlighting the consequences and offering practical solutions and advice, the campaign will prevent people from picking up a knife in the first place.
The campaigns aim has been to promote a discussion among those who carry knives and their peers and families. The focus is on engendering positive social norms to help them make the right choice and not pick up a knife in the first place.
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?