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Operation Sceptre: Police launch knife amnesty and week of action

Nottinghamshire Police will be offering a snapshot of the work being done to reduce knife crime over the next week.

Education and proactive policing are both key elements of the force’s year-round approach to taking knives off the streets.

A small sample of this work will be showcased throughout ‘Operation Sceptre’, which runs from tomorrow (15 May) until Sunday (21 May).

Nottinghamshire officers will be carrying out a range of different operations and public engagement work throughout the week of action.

Neighbourhood policing teams and schools and early intervention officers regularly visit schools to educate children about the dangers of knife carrying.

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But police from across the county will be visiting more schools and colleges than usual throughout Op Sceptre to help ensure this message really hits home.

Arrangements have also been made for groups of young students to visit the Ben Kinsella Trust ‘Choices and Consequences’ exhibition at the National Justice Museum in Nottingham.

More than 2,000 children have visited the workshop since 2019, with the museum, which is free for children Year 5 and above to attend, teaching visitors about the devastating impact of knife crime.

Alongside this focus on the preventative work being done, Nottinghamshire Police also has several initiatives planned throughout Op Sceptre – to help take more knives off the streets.

Amnesty bins have been set up inside different police stations across Nottinghamshire as part of the campaign, where people can dispose of unwanted knives without getting in trouble.

Neighbourhood policing teams will also be doing knife sweeps around hot spot areas, deploying metal-detecting knife arches at different locations, and carrying out extra patrols and search warrants.

Around 200 weapons were handed over or discovered by Nottinghamshire Police as a direct result of similar operations during the last week of action in November 2022.

Outside of Op Sceptre, the force has two dedicated knife crime teams, who specifically target this type of offending all year-round, with their regular patrols alone leading to just over 200 blades and offensive weapons being taken off the streets in the last year.

This valuable work has helped see a 2% reduction in knife crime over the last 12 months, while reported offences have reduced by 7% in the last year when compared to before the Covid-19 pandemic.

Superintendent Kathryn Craner, Nottinghamshire Police’s knife crime lead, said: “So much work goes on all year-round between the force and our partners to help take knives off the streets and stop people from picking them up in the first place.

“Eradicating knife crime from our communities continues to be so important because of the irreversible devastation this offending can cause – not just to victims but to their loved ones and the person who picks up the knife as well.

“Educating people, especially at a young age, about the dangers associated with carrying a knife, is incredibly important.

“While people might think that arming themselves with a weapon will help keep them safe, this actually couldn’t be further from the truth, as it puts people far more at risk of getting injured themselves.

“We have taken some positive strides to help reduce knife crime but it’s essential that we maintain our efforts and continue to drive this down further.

“Op Sceptre allows us to shine a spotlight on the preventative work we’re already doing and educate people about the dangers of knife crime, so we’re proud to be able to support this valuable campaign.”

Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry added: “This week’s Operation Sceptre campaign is particularly poignant following the recent fatal stabbing of Davices Anderson in Nottingham, which illustrates why the work to prevent knife crime never stops.

“Every time a knife is used has the potential to cause catastrophic harm to victims, as well as devastation to their families and their communities. Even old school friends, work colleagues and neighbours feel the ripple effect of these harrowing crimes.

“While police enforcement will often bring offenders to justice, it will never repair the harm caused to the many people affected.

“That is why prevention is so important and why Nottinghamshire Police, the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, our Violence Reduction Partnership and many other partner agencies keep trying to prevent tragedies from happening in the first place. Through early intervention, education, mentoring and youth diversionary activities we aim to prevent young people getting involved in knife crime.

“I would also urge all parents, family members and friends to help prevent their loved ones being affected by knife crime by having a conversation and ensuring it is never acceptable to carry a knife.”

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