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Op Spectre: Cadets learn about dangers of knife crime in Nottinghamshire

Budding police officers learned about the harsh realities of knife crime after meeting cops who help tackle the issue.

Police cadets visited Nottinghamshire Police’s headquarters on Wednesday evening (18 May) and heard from Operation Reacher officers.

The force has Operation Reacher teams in all 12 neighbourhood policing areas – each with a responsibility to proactively target local criminals and build stronger community relationships.

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Alongside carrying out early morning raids on suspected drug dealers, hunting wanted suspects and patrolling local neighbourhoods, the teams also carry out vital interaction and engagement with adults and children across Nottinghamshire.

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This week, the Reacher teams are educating youngsters on the dangers of knife crime. It comes as Nottinghamshire Police supports the national Operation Sceptre, a week-long campaign to highlight the work forces undertake all year round to tackle knife crime.

At the cadets session on Wednesday evening (18 May 2022), youngsters learned about the story of Lyrico Steede, who was just 17 years old when he was fatally stabbed in Bulwell in 2018.

The session also consisted of a discussion on how knife crime ruins lives and why it’s important to share information before it’s too late.

The cadets were also shown CCTV and body worn video footage of Reacher officers in action and how two videos of the same incident can actually show different points of view.

Sergeant Louise Ellis, who leads the Nottingham city centre Operation Reacher team and attended the session, said: “The tragic death of Lyrico and many others in the last few years can be attributed to many things including young people being misguided.

“Therefore, education is a vital part of the long-term success of our strategy to reduce knife crime and that is why we are engaging with young people, including our cadets.

“We take the view that any young person can choose to carry a knife, and if you make children and young people aware of the consequences of that choice in their formative years, they will hopefully reject carrying knives in the future and make positive life choices.”

PC Matt Mason, also from the city centre Operation Reacher team, hailed the session a success. He said: “These types of engagements offer a chance for those involved to get to know officers behind the uniform, understand how serious the subject of knife crime is amongst their peer groups and how to contribute towards changing the way of thinking of those carrying knives.”

This week Nottinghamshire Police is shining a spotlight on the relentless united effort to drive down knife crime in support of the national Operation Sceptre.

The week of action, which launched on Monday (16 May), is providing just a sample of the continuous year-round work being done to prevent knife crime in Nottinghamshire and to protect communities from the harm it causes.

Nottinghamshire’s joint approach to tackling the issue involves police, partners and local communities all working closely together to tackle the issue.

Positive action to raise awareness of the devastating consequences of knife crime, to help prevent incidents from happening in the first place, has included educational events at local schools and colleges and proactive public engagement including the use of metal-detecting walk-through knife arches.

A spotlight has also been shone on proactive work going on to keep people safe and remove dangerous weapons from circulation including community weapons sweeps, patrols in knife crime hot-spot areas and proactive operations.

In support of the week of action, members of the public can play their part to help stop knives falling into the wrong hands by putting unwanted knives in amnesty bins sited in police stations and shared locations in the city and county.

People can deposit their knives without fear of prosecution during the week, which ends on Sunday. Weapons handed in will be destroyed.

The bins are located at the following police stations (front counter)/shared service locations in the city: Broxtowe; Bulwell; Oxclose Lane; Radford Road and St Ann’s.

There are also bins at Byron House and inside The Pilgrim Church in The Meadows.

The county police station/shared service bin locations are: Beeston; Kirkby; Mansfield; Newark; Ollerton; Retford and Worksop.

Members of the public are asked to check the opening times of their local amnesty points before they visit.

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