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Thousands join in conversation on knife crime

News   •   Mar 20, 2019 16:50 GMT

Tens of thousands of people joined in the conversation about knife crime across Sussex during a week-long national campaign.

During Operation Sceptre, which ran between March 11 and 17, officers were out across the county talking to people about knives. Schools, college and youth events were visited during the week to speak to young people about how to act if they feel pressure to carry a knife, and what to do if they feel in danger.

Throughout the week 38 educational establishments were visited and approximately 5,600 young people were spoken to about the impact they felt knife crime had on their community. During the climate march in Brighton, officers had the chance to speak to thousands of students and used the Crimestoppers van as a place to chat to them at the Level, where the march ended.

Test purchases were also carried out across the whole county. Police cadets worked with officers and Trading Standards colleagues to try and buy a knife in shops when they were clearly under 18. Out of the 47 shops tested, 12 failed. They were all given warnings and will be tested again. If they fail again, they will be named and either fined or prosecuted.

Across the force knife amnesty bins were in place in police stations and knives were handed in and will now be destroyed.

Brighton officers worked alongside British Transport Police at Brighton railway station with the use of a knife arch. This acted as a metal detector and those who avoided the arch were spoken to by officers. 

A 17-year-old boy from Hove, was stopped, searched and found to be in possession of a knife. He has been charged with possession of an offensive weapon and possession of cannabis.

Assistant Chief Constable Nick May said: "Operation Sceptre gives us a good opportunity to talk about knife crime in an open and honest way, and it's been good to hear about all the activity which took place during the week.

"It was reassuring to hear about young people really getting involved in the conversation on knives and the impact it had on them. The week also gave us useful intelligence on why people carry knives and we are doing further on developing this information."

"However this isn't just one week of action, these patrols and conversations are all part of everyday policing. We always have amnesty bins in police stations and you can always drop off your dangerous and unwanted blades. We will continue working with other agencies to take positive action when knife crimes occur, focusing on engagement and prevention.”

If you need to talk to someone anonymously, Crimestoppers can be reached on 0800 555 111. As always, you can report crime online, or via 101. In an emergency, always call 999.