National Week of Action to Tackle Knife Crime launched
Operation Sceptre, an initiative to tackle knife crime, starts today, Monday 14 November. Hampshire Police alongside, the British Transport Police will take part in intensified efforts to crack down on knife-enabled crime and violence.
Throughout the week of action, we will coordinate activity looking to target the root causes of knife crime. There will be focus on the different strands of education, engagement, prevention and enforcement, all of which are important in playing our part to reduce knife crime.
Early intervention will aim to stop those intent on carrying a knife and working with retailers, youth groups, charities and other partners are a vital part of a community led policing response.
Forces will continue to work closely with young people to further understand the reasons why individuals carry knives and also to educate them around the dangers of carrying one.
Most importantly, the week will aim to highlight that there are no positives to carrying a knife.
Chief Inspector John Halfacre, the knife crime lead at Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary, said:
“‘Reducing knife crime remains a top priority for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight Constabulary as well as policing nationally. Operation Sceptre is a nationally coordinated week of action and an opportunity to highlight some of the activity that takes place across the force area week-in-week-out to tackle serious violence related to knife crime.
“We will employ tactics that are both enforcement and prevention based and include stop and search, weapon sweeps, intelligence led action against habitual knife carriers, test purchase operations, raising awareness of knife retailers, educational input and community engagement events.
“For the November week of action we are again working with Border Force to increase the intelligence shared with forces about those who are importing knives into England and Wales from overseas. In addition, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight Constabulary already work very closely with the Violence Reduction Unit of the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner to ensure a fully joined up approach to violence reduction.
“There can be few things in policing more important than reducing the terrible harm and impact caused by the criminal use of knives and blades, and as the tactical lead for knife crime I am dedicated to do all I can to help reduce knife crime and the impact it has on communities.”
Hampshire and Isle of Wight Police and Crime Commissioner, Donna Jones, said:
“The impact of knife crime on individuals, families and communities is truly devastating and long lasting, that’s why tackling knife crime is one of the top priorities in my Police and Crime Plan.
“Sadly young people are most at risk of being injured by knives with stabbings occurring every week across the two counties.
“Operation Sceptre is a focused week of action which will see the police direct additional resources to those believed to be carrying knives. However the drivers for knife crime and the solutions are complicated. More police on the streets and an increased use of stop and search is a deterrent. This is why I am recruiting 600 extra police officers here in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.
“The Government have increased sentencing for those caught carrying a knife or bladed article; this was enacted as part of The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022.
“Knife crime is a societal issue. As Police Commissioner, I am committed to tackling knife crime and to reduce the harm. I’m doing this through funding early intervention and prevention projects, specifically focused on the work carried out by the Violence Reduction Unit. The focus is on stopping young people from committing crimes particularly those that result in serious violence & injury. Schools, parents and guardians of young people have a responsibility to spot the signs and take action to prevent young people from carrying knives.”
If you are aware of anyone who carries a knife or have concerns that someone you know may carry a knife, please report it to police or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.
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