Police hold week of action in bid to curb knife crime
A WEEK of action aimed at reducing the number of knives on the streets, and educating young people about the dangers of carrying a knife has been launched by Avon and Somerset Police.
The force has been taking part in Operation Sceptre regularly since 2016, an initiative led by the Metropolitan Police which sees police forces around the country focus their efforts in a co-ordinated way.
As part of this, from Saturday March 9 to Sunday March 17 the police attended a number of retailers where intelligence suggests that they have recently sold a knife to a person under the age of 18. Where appropriate, retailers were educated around their responsibilities, or told they will be prosecuted. In addition, on Friday March 15 and Saturday March 16 officers worked with licensed premises in Bristol, where they spoke to customers about the risks of carrying knives and supported door staff during entry searches for any people found with a knife.
Avon and Somerset Police already have a permanent knife surrender bin in place in Bridewell Police Custody Centre in Bristol, but will also have temporary surrender bins in place at additional locations including Broadbury Road Police Station, Trinity Road Police station, Bristol Magistrates Court and Bristol Crown Court for the foreseeable future. Since the force started taking part in the operation in October 2016, just over 1,700 knives have been surrendered to bins across the force area.
Chief Inspector Zoe Chegwyn, who leads on knife crime for Avon and Somerset Police said: “The Op Sceptre weeks of action are an important time in our calendar, as we can really focus on enforcement activity which has a direct impact on the number of knives on our streets, where they can and do cause serious harm.
“By using a range of tactics and approaches, we can visibly show communities the ways in which we are working to reduce the impact of knives on people’s lives.
“I want to stress that our educational work with young people is on-going and not just limited to our weeks of action. We also want to let young people know that if they are worried that someone they know is carrying a knife, but are nervous about talking to the police, that they can contact Fearless (The Crimestoppers youth arm) anonymously and potentially help to save a life.”