Op Sceptre – Knife crime campaign week to focus on amnesty and education

 

Cumbria Constabulary is supporting a national, week-long knife crime campaign, beginning on Monday (13 November 2023).

Op Sceptre is a national policing operation which aims to make streets safer across the country via a number of means including by providing the opportunity for potentially dangerous and harmful blades to be removed from our streets by giving people the opportunity to dispose of knives anonymously and safely in amnesty bins at local Police Stations.

As part of the week, officers will be going into schools to help educate young people regarding the potential disastrous consequences resulting from carrying a knife, whilst neighbourhood policing team officers will be carrying out test purchasing operations to ensure retailers are not selling knives to children.

Chief Inspector Steve Hunter said: “Whilst the opportunity to dispose of knives grabs the most attention, Operation Sceptre week is not just about enforcement activity – it is also about education and a wider awareness of knife crime.

“It is incumbent upon us all to speak to our young people about the dangers of carrying a knife.

“Our officers will be going into schools to speak about police experience – from the horrific scenes officers witness when responding to the aftermath of an assault with a knife to witnessing the significant sentences handed down to those who choose to carry a knife in public.

“But the message needs to come not only from the police but all parts of society – starting with the family and parents. Speak to your children today and make sure they know the dangers and that there is no excuse for knife possession.”

Someone in possession of a knife is not only increasing the risk of harm to themselves but could also face a fine of £5,000 and a four-year prison sentence.

Ch Insp Hunter said: “Op Sceptre week includes an amnesty opportunity – an ideal chance for those possessing a dangerous knife or other blade to come forward and rid themselves of it. It is a quick process and your action will help make your community a safer place.

“Every knife or blade that is handed in is one less weapon which could fall into the wrong hands.”

Cumbria’s Deputy Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, Mike Johnson, said: “Operation Sceptre is an incredibly positive initiative as it allows the public to proactively dispose of potentially dangerous weapons without fear of reprimand and also provides education to young people about the dangers of carrying a knife.

“Simply being in possession of a weapon means that it is more likely to be used, please do not risk it and place it to one of the amnesty bins around the county.

“No one wants to be involved in an incident involving a knife or a firearm as it can have a serious effect on people’s lives and, in the worst-case scenario, could be fatal.

“This is also a good opportunity to talk to your children about the dangers and risks around carrying a weapon and the long-term consequences if they are caught.

“Let’s work together to make Cumbria an even safer place to live.”

Anyone wishing to hand a knife or bladed article in should put them in a box or strong bag. Never attempt to take an uncovered knife or bladed article out in public.  Members of the public are also advised to go directly to a designated station when handing in such items.

The stations where you can hand your knives or bladed articles in are:

North Cumbria

  • CarlisleSouth Cumbria
  • Barrow
  • KendalWest Cumbria
  • Whitehaven
  • WorkingtonTo check on opening times please visit: Find a police station | Cumbria Police

    If you are worried about the someone who is in possession of a knife or need advice, please contact police or report anonymously via Crimestoppers.

    You can report online at www.cumbria.police.uk/report-it.

    You can also phone on 101.

    Alternatively you can contact Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.


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