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This week Leicestershire Police is joining other forces up and down the country to support ‘Operation Sceptre’ – a week-long national campaign aimed at tackling knife crime.
Taking place between Monday 16 May and Sunday 22 May 2022, 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.
Across the week in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland officers will be carrying out a variety of policing activity including visiting schools; using a knife arch in key locations; carrying out knife ‘sweeps’ in parks and other locations; visiting habitual knife carriers and checking shops that sell knives 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:
Detective Chief Inspector Gavin Drummond, from the Violence 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 schools, hospitals, charities and other partner agencies, to make sure knives don’t make it on to 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.
“Knife crime has a devastating impact on individuals, families and communities 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.”
Police and Crime Commissioner for Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland, Rupert Matthews, said: “Every knife or bladed weapon handed in is one less potential weapon on the streets. Knives, as we all know, can cause fatal injuries in the wrong hands.
“So, please, take this opportunity to hand in any such weapons. Urge family and friends to do the same because carrying a knife is really not worth the risk.
“But the work to tackle knife crime doesn’t stop at the end of the week. It is relentless with the police and partners using the whole toolbox. I’m delighted to see the results of my Violence Reduction Network (VRN), always a longer-term proposition, really gathering pace now. The VRN works hard to change mind-sets and behaviours though early and timely interventions which will lead to long-lasting change. That’s what we need and that is what is happening.”
Leicestershire Police’s long-standing anti-knife crime campaign ‘We Don’t Carry #Livesnotknives’ has been developed with teenagers and young people 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 or you can visit Live Safe website built specifically with young people in mind Knife crime advice & support | LiveSafe
Follow our anti-knife crime campaign on social media via the #OpSceptre #WeDon’tCarry hashtag.