Today (Monday 13th November) marks the launch of Operation Sceptre – a national knife crime week of action that will run until Sunday 19th November 2023.
Operation Sceptre is a national initiative that takes place twice a year. The operation aims to raise awareness of the impact of knife crime and the multi-agency approaches happening to reduce and prevent it.
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. Locations can be found here.
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.
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. In an emergency, always dial 999.