From Somerset to Bristol, Avon and Somerset Police carried out a range of both enforcement and engagement activity in a bid to encourage people not to carry knives or get involved in serious violence as part of the national policing week of action, Operation Sceptre.
School visits, weapons sweeps searching undergrowth and public spaces for any discarded or hidden knives and installing new community bleed kits were just some of the actions that took place across the week, resulting in over 160 knives being recovered or seized.
- 59 weapon sweeps recovering two knives
- 156 knives recovered from 13 weapon surrender bins
- 14 stop and searches carried out seizing two knives
- 14 knife-related arrests, seizing four knives
- 32 community engagement and awareness events
- 83 school engagements, delivering knife-crime awareness sessions
- 11 diversion visits to youths identified and linked to carrying knives
- 36 retailer visits advising of laws and safety around knife sales
- Three new community bleed kits installed
Chief Inspector Mike Vass said:
“We’ve been working hard across the whole of Avon and Somerset to raise awareness and education on the danger and harm of knife-crime, in particular focussing on a drive to encourage young people to stop carrying knives on them in public. Carrying a knife does not keep you safe and I would just urge any young person in our area who is considering taking a knife out on to the streets with them to please think twice.
“This work goes on all year round for us and we rely on our communities and our partners to work together to help us tackle the devastating effects knife crime can have. By building these community links and visibility around the work we are doing, we hope that we can deter more people from becoming involved in knife crime or serious violence.”
As part of the work surrounding serious violence, police officers and staff and the local violence reduction units deliver education sessions to local schools and colleges as a way of developing the engagement between young people and the police. The sessions focus around educating young people on the dangers and consequences of carrying a knife, including:
- There is no safe place to stab someone. Any stab wound can potentially be fatal
- Carrying a knife means you are more likely to get hurt yourself – people are often wounded by the knife they were carrying themselves
- It is against the law to carry a knife in a public place. Carrying a knife can lead to four years in prison, even if you have no intention of using it
There are a number of weapon surrender bins in place across Avon and Somerset in an initiative led by Avon and Somerset Police to take knives off the streets and prevent harm from occurring. To find out where these are situated and more on how to protect yourself or others from knife crime, visit: https://www.avonandsomerset.police.uk/crime-prevention-advice/protect-yourself-and-others-from-knife-crime/
If you are concerned that someone you know may be carrying a knife, you can report it into the police either online or by calling 101. Alternatively, you can report 100% anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. If you believe someone is in immediate danger, always dial 999.