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Op Target knife crime operation in St Helens town centre

News   •   Sep 20, 2019 18:00 BST

Officers are in St Helens town centre today, Friday 20th September, as part of Operation Sceptre - a national week of action to tackle knife crime.

A knife arch operation has been in place from 3pm as part of on our ongoing detection, deterrent and disruption activity.

The action forms part of Operation Target – Merseyside Police’s response to the national issue of knife crime – and complements other ongoing knife crime related activity including open land searches, stop searches and test purchasing.

St Helens Local Policing Inspector Neil Birkett said: “Together with other police forces up and down the country we are taking part in a week of action to demonstrate our ongoing commitment to tackling the issue of knife crime.

“This type of activity isn’t aimed at disrupting law abiding members of the public but showing our commitment to taking on the problem head on.

“I want to reassure people that St Helens is no worse than other towns up and down the country for knife crime but sadly we have families living locally who have suffered at first hand the consequences of knives being used and we cannot ignore that.

“We want to show through increased visible policing, disruption of criminal activity and sharing intelligence that we are committed to eradicating the problem. Today also shows how important it is for us to work with our partners, including the local authority, to support this ongoing work.

“I would also continue to ask the public to support us in what we are trying to achieve and to come forward with information so that we can act upon it.

Councillor Jeanie Bell, St Helens Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Safety, said: "Communities are safer when policing is visible and targeted, so we’re glad to support this operation in St Helens town centre.

"The use of knife arches has been found to be a great way to spark conversations about knife crime and prompt increased reporting. I’d urge residents to come forward with any information that could help prevent the terrible harm that carrying a knife brings."

If you have information about where weapons are being stored or who is carrying them please DM @MerPolCC, call 101 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.