Operation Sceptre, a week of intense action to help raise awareness of the dangers of knife crime and the work being done to stop it, is underway.
The campaign targets those who are carrying weapons, raises awareness of the dangers and impacts of knife crime, and engages with retailers.
The bi-annual operation will run all this week. Working in partnership with other organisations and communities across the county, Lancashire police will be intensifying its activity to tackle knife crime, as well as increasing education on the impact it has on individuals, families, and the wider community.
Meanwhile, the Lancashire Violence Reduction Network (VRN) will be using Home Office Grip funding to coordinate increased police activity including high visibility patrols, weapon sweeps and engagement sessions. They will also be working with Trading Standards to carry out test purchasing and educate businesses on the laws around selling knives.
The week of action is also an opportunity for people to surrender any weapons at one of the Violence Reduction Network’s surrender bins which are permanently located across the county.
There are knife bins across the county, which are a safe way to dispose of any bladed articles. You can find your nearest ones at:
Under Carlisle Bridge, Morecambe Road, Lancaster, LA1 2RX
Near youth centre, Central Drive, Morecambe, LA4 4DE
Chief Inspector and VRN Operational Lead, Dave Oldfield said: “Knife crime continues to be an issue not just in Lancashire but across the country and it’s not something that one agency or organisation alone can fix. Operation Sceptre is a chance for ongoing activity to be intensified and the work of all organisations to be highlighted to create a more joined up approach.”
“The Lancashire Violence Reduction Network is proud to be working alongside the Lancashire Constabulary and other partners to protect the public and communities and prevent knife crime. This activity includes surrender bins, high visibility police presence in hotspot areas, weapon sweeps for hidden or discarded knives, test purchasing and engaging with young people in schools and community organisations.”
“We all have a part to play in preventing knife crime and I’d urge anyone that knows someone who might be carrying a knife or carrying a knife themselves to use one of our surrender bins across the county.”
During the last Operation Sceptre (May 2023), over 7,000 young people were engaged with during education talks around the consequences of carrying a knife, over 120 arrests were made, and 1,105 weapons were taken off the streets.
Andrew Snowden, Police and Crime Commissioner for Lancashire said, “Cracking down on those who carry dangerous weapons is vital to keeping our streets safe. Each knife that is confiscated by the police, or surrendered at a designated place, is one less potential victim.
“The carrying of knives is not acceptable and whilst education around the dangers is important, targeting offenders and getting their weapons removed from our streets has to continue to happen.
“After securing funding for the continuation of Lancashire Violence Reduction Network’s work, I will ensure the Chief Constable has the resources he needs to proactively tackle knife crime and other violent crime, bringing offenders to justice.”
If you have any information about knife crime in Lancashire, contact the police on 101 or report anonymously to the independent charity, Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.