Knife-crime operation sees more weapons taken off Northamptonshire streets, eight arrested and shops warned

Police use Operation Sceptre week to step up campaign on education and enforcement

By Kevin Nicholls
Saturday, 4th December 2021, 3:55 pm
Updated Saturday, 4th December 2021, 3:58 pm

More weapons were taken off county streets as Northamptonshire Police stepped up its knife-crime campaign as part of Operation Sceptre.

More than 100 potentially deadly blades were handed in at 50 knife amnesties county-wide, with the slogan 'if you don't need it, bin it.'

Officers and staff joined colleagues from across the UK to take part in a week of action which coincided with the force’s own three-month campaign with targeted community engagement in known hot spots and raising awareness of common misconceptions around carrying knives.

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Operation Sceptre

Operation Sceptre, a long-running national campaign, was another chance to continue focus on education, engagement, prevention, and enforcement with talks at 11 secondary schools and checks on dozens of retailers.

All that resulted in eight arrests on suspicion of knife-related offences while eight shops in Corby, Kettering, Daventry, Brixworth and Long Buckby were warned for selling knives to under-18s.

Superintendent Adam Ward, Northamptonshire Police knife crime lead, said: "The Operation Sceptre week of action provides an opportunity for us all to work together to reduce the risk and harm – and loss of lives – of knife crime which is a matter of priority for us and our colleagues across the UK.

“During this week, our activities continued the work we’ve been carrying out with our partner agencies, to not only tackle knife-related offending but also to ensure the next generation understands the risks of carrying a knife through engagement, education, prevention and enforcement.

Northamptonshire Police's knife crime campaign.

“It’s important to remember that most of us do not carry knives and will probably never be affected by knife crime – which is why we must dispel the myths around carrying a knife to help prevent anyone picking one up in the first place

"We want to make it clear that carrying a knife really doesn't make you safer. It can be used against you, it's also illegal, can potentially result in a prison sentence and puts yours and others' lives at risk.

“Education and prevention are key and our officers and staff have continued their hard work across the county, visiting schools, retailers and licensed premises and holding community events to talk about and raise awareness of knife crime.

“However, we will also continue to take robust action against those who break the law as the results have shown, and just because this week of action is over, our work is ongoing as we proactively tackle this type of offending.”

Police upped the ante over knife crime following a number of incidents in Northampton, Corby and Wellingborough this year — many involving teenagers.

A 17-year-old is due to be sentenced next month after being found guilty on Thursday (December 2) of murdering Rayon Pennycook, 16, in Corby in May.

Two more youngsters are due to face trial after being charged with killing 16-year-old Dylan Holliday on Wellingborough's Queensway estate on August 6 while another 16-year-old was seriously injured in an attack in Northampton's town centre on September 16.

■ Click HERE to learn more about how Northamptonshire Police is preventing and tackling knife crime.

If you have any information or concerns about knife crime in your community, you can report non-emergency crime to 101 or online, or by contacting Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111. In an emergency always call 999.