Op Sceptre - knife crime awareness and amnesty roundup
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Our Op Sceptre knife crime awareness campaign and amnesty came to an end on Friday 26 November with a total of 450 knives and bladed weapons handed in at police stations, churches and community centres across the county.
Knives, knuckledusters, samurai swords and even a large ceremonial sword have been handed in during the two weeks of the amnesty (Monday 15 - Friday 26 November) which also included an educational and enforcement element to the overall campaign.
Officers and staff from Wiltshire Police, working with several stakeholder partners, took part in a number of events over the fortnight, including:
• Visits to schools to give talks to pupils about the dangers of carrying and using knives • Swindon police cadets helped Trading Standards with test purchases – where retailers are “tested” on whether or not they sell to someone under 18 • Knife arch – officers took the arch into some schools and colleges to use it as an introduction to discuss knife crime and safety awareness • General information communicated about the latest change in the knife crime laws.
Also, arrests were made along with the seizure of drugs and weapons during a raid at a house in Swindon which was carried out as part of Operation Sceptre on 17/11.
13 amnesty bins were placed around the county for members of the public to place unwanted knives in without fear of prosecution. Although, police will continue to investigate offences linked to any knives or weapons recovered.
Inspector David Tippetts, who led the amnesty across the county, said: “Operation Sceptre has been very successful in as much as we have had more than 450 knives and blades handed in.
“If we can remove at least one knife off our streets or stop at least one stabbing then operations like this are helping us move in the right direction to make our communities safer.
“The two week campaign has also been about education aimed especially at young people who we know are more likely to get involved in this type of anti-social and violent behaviour. However, the police can't stop the illegal use of knives alone. This is about us continuing to work with our partners like the local authorities, charities and other emergency services, as well as the public to educate, engage and prevent knife crime.”
PCC Philip Wilkinson said: “Removing just one knife that could maim or kill from Wiltshire’s streets is to be applauded but tackling knife crime is not something the police can do alone.
“The work of our early intervention team along with schools, charities, community groups and the health service, is vital to ensuring education of the dangers of carrying a knife reaches beyond the classroom.
“It is the role of my office, and our partners, to continue to intervene earlier, when necessary, and to make sure we’re providing positive alternatives and opportunities to those who are at risk of, and vulnerable to, being targeted and drawn into knife crime.
“This is something I intend to do to make Wiltshire a safer place to live.”
Operation Sceptre has now finished; however, people can still hand in their knives and unwanted weapons at any time at their closest police station.