Nearly 300 knives recovered in dedicated operation
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More than 290 knives have been recovered from across Staffordshire as part of the latest knife surrender, Operation Sceptre.
The operation, which aims at tackling knife-related crime by offering people a safe way of disposing of blades anonymously, ran from 16 May to 22 May.
During the campaign, 250 knives were deposited into surrender bins at Hanley, Longton, Burton-upon-Trent and Cannock Police Station.
Partners such as Chit Chat 4U assisted officers during a series of weapon sweeps, resulting in a total of 35 knives being recovered, eight arrests and a further six blades seized.
Trading Standards teams across the county also conducted test purchases across Staffordshire, with all 23 stores tested refusing to sell the knives to those underage.
Officers also visiteda total of 14 schools todiscuss the dangers of carrying a knife and encourage those at risk of knifecrime to get help and support.
Chief Inspector Robert Hessell, force lead for knife crime, said: “It’s vitally important that we continue to highlight and encourage conversations around knife crime within our communities.
“This operationwas designed to challenge the stereotypes and stigma surrounding knife crime.
“It is usually the case that the majority of young people will never be affected by knife crime, but encouraging this awareness and providing a safe space for people to ditch their blades, we hope we have helped to continue to make our communities are safer place to be.”
Operation Sceptre followed the arrival of the 27-foot Knife Angel in Smithfield, Stoke-on-Trent - composed of more than 100,000 knives surrendered throughout similar campaigns across the UK, with 1,800 of those knives surrendered by residents in Staffordshire.
“The #DitchTheBlade campaign, which ran alongside Operation Sceptre, continues to serve as a platform for parents, carers, teachers and young people to seek specialist help on the issue of knife crime and ensure we continue, as a community, to tackle this together.
“By continuing to work closely with our partners and communities, we can ensure we do our part, as a police force, to champion this cause.”