Running from Monday 9th to Sunday 15th November, Op Sceptre is a national initiative which sees police working with partners to conduct intense activity to tackle knife crime.
The theme of the week was ‘knives and the law’ and saw Lancashire Police neighbourhood officers visiting schools to provide information to young people about the repercussions of becoming involved in knife crime. This was supported by social media activity on local and county-wide police accounts.
Police officers in Lancashire conducted 38 weapon sweeps looking for knives hidden in public spaces; 20 knife-related arrests were made which involved 10 knives being seized; and 21 visits were made to members of the public who had purchased knives online.
Chief Inspector Steve Anderton, knife crime lead at Lancashire Violence Reduction Network, said:
“This week of intensification adds to our focus on knife crime and we are pleased that a significant number of knives are now safely off Lancashire streets so that they cannot be used to create harm.
“It’s illegal to carry a knife without a reasonable purpose and there are serious repercussions if you are found out, including a prison sentence.
“Fortunately, people who carry knives are in the vast minority. If you are involved in knives or violent crime, I urge you to use this second lockdown to reflect and make positive change for yourself, your family, and your community.”
Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Clive Grunshaw, said:
“I am fully supportive of Lancashire Constabulary’s bid to remove knives from our streets and this activity has shown that officers in the county are committed to getting dangerous knives, and those who would carry them, off our streets.
“No-one should live in fear of knives being used in their community. I am committed to tackling violent crime and ensuring that – above all else – residents feel safe and secure.
“Tackling crime and developing safe and confident communities are key priorities for me and policing alone cannot prevent people offending. We need to work together to tackle violent crime and make Lancashire safer.”
Home Secretary Priti Patel added:
“Tackling the senseless violence of knife crime is a key focus for the Government.
“The work of Lancashire Constabulary during Op Sceptre means that hundreds of weapons have been removed from the streets, making their community safer.
“The police have my full backing in their mission to ensure knife offenders are caught and face justice.”