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Knives recovered and education events held as part of Op Sceptre week

More than 100 knives recovered, 91 education events held and 47 knife sweeps carried out – just some of our knife crime prevention work carried out last week as part of Op Sceptre.

The week, which ran from Monday 15 May to Sunday 21 May, was part of the national campaign carried out by all 43 police forces and the British Transport Police to help tackle knife crime.

Officers in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland focused on providing education and engagement across communities to raise awareness of the dangers of knife crime and how to prevent it.

A total of 52 community engagements, including with sports clubs and retailers, were held across the week as well as 39 workshops in schools.

In addition to this engagement work, people were reminded of our knife amnesty bins which are in place at police stations across the force area. The bins allow anybody to dispose of knives without the fear of being punished unless it is found to have been used for a criminal act. Since November 2022, a total of 332 knives have been placed in the bins.

More than 100 of these were placed in the bins during the past week.

A total of 47 knife sweeps were carried out across the force area by officers during the week checking areas for bladed weapons. Three knives were recovered during these sweeps.

Knife arches were also placed in key locations during the week while officers also carried out visits to habitual knife carriers.

The week also saw work carried out with Trading Standards to help crackdown on knives being sold to under 18s. A total of 22 shops were visited by a test purchaser who was under 18. Five of the shops failed the test purchase selling a knife to a person under 18.

A total of four arrests in relation to knife-related offences were made during the week as part of the operation activity. Three knives were recovered as part of these arrests.

Detective Superintendent Jim Hatton, from the force’s Violent and Complex Crime Unit, said: “In order to continue tackling knife crime, we need to continue working together to raise awareness of the extreme dangers of knife crime and how we can prevent it.

“It was therefore great to see so much community engagement last week, including in our schools, and this is something we continue to develop all year round.

“It is also great to see our knife amnesty bins being used and hundreds of knives, which could potentially end up being used as weapons, being taken off our streets.

“Last week’s activity is also a reminder to all shopkeepers of their legal responsibility when it comes to not selling knives to underage people.

Five of the 22 shops we tested broke the law. We will continue to carry out these test purchases.

“I would like to thank all our partners who worked with us across the week to help educate and engage and to help keep our communities safe.”

Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Police and Crime Commissioner Rupert Matthews said: “Once again the efforts of the team have reaped just rewards with more deadly weapons taken off our streets before they can destroy lives.

My hat goes off to everyone involved in delivering this week of action from the frontline officers at the sharp end of enforcement through to the prevention officers going into our schools and colleges to highlight the grim consequences of carrying knives. 

“Of course, this type of proactive activity goes on all year round, 24 hours a day. We have a wealth of resources including School Liaison Officers dedicated to reducing risk and ensuring school pupils are armed with the facts so they can make safer choices. The force also works relentlessly alongside its VRU partners to turn lives away from serious violence and build confidence within our communities.  

“We know it takes much more than handcuffs and warrants to prevent knife crime, this is why I have continued to invest in schemes which treat serious violence as a public health issue and tackle problems at source.  We are proudly drawing upon a whole range of holistic and effective interventions to give our young people the futures they deserve, and these results will really strengthen that work.” 

More information on the Operation Sceptre activity from the week can be found on our force social media channels.

The Live Safe website also offers advice and support for young people and for adults and carers on keeping yourselves, friends and family and our communities safe.


Leicestershire Police News 24/05/23

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