Police officers say a week-long knife crime crackdown was a success with more than 300 blades binned alongside a series of engagement events.
The latest Operation Sceptre week of action helped to support education and engagement via multi-agency events organised as part of the Knife Angel statue’s visit to Northamptonshire.
People flocked to see the 27ft figure during its two-week stay in Northampton and Corby, where it has provided a focal point for police and partners to reignite the important conversation around reducing knife crime. During the week:
■ 311 knives handed in to police or at one of 37 amnesty events
■ Checks on 36 stores to see if knives could be sold to under-18s
■ 54 weapon sweeps in known knife-crime hotspots
■ One arrest for a knife offence using stop and search powers
■ Talks at 13 secondary schools
Volunteers from Northamptonshire Emergency Services Cadets helped out with an exercise to make sure shops were not breaking the law by selling knives to under 18s.
Five stores received written warnings after selling a knife to the cadets, who were all under 18.
Northamptonshire Police knife crime lead, Chief Superintendent Adam Ward said: “Knife crime remains a matter of priority for the Force, and it is important that we continue work with our communities to prevent and tackle this type of offending.
“We tackle and prevent knife crime daily however, the sheer presence of the Knife Angel in Northamptonshire, along with the Operation Sceptre week of action, has enabled us to engage and educate our young people and the wider community.
“However, to make sure the next generation understands the consequences of carrying a knife, we need to build on all the hard work which has been carried out so far.
“The enforcement and proactive work we do is only one part of the solution to this issue. We all have an important role to play in tackling and preventing knife crime by raising awareness of the consequences and dangers of carrying a knife.”
■ Anyone with information or concerns about knife crime can report non-emergency crime to 101, visit www.northants.police.uk or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111. In an emergency always call 999.