Police continuing crackdown on knife crime

A knife surrender is being held by Northumbria Police as part of a national week of action.

Friday, 13th September 2019, 3:04 pm
Updated Friday, 20th September 2019, 4:32 pm
One of the knife surrender bins which will be at Middle Engine Lane Police Station.

Operation Sceptre – a combined effort aimed at reducing the devastating effects of knife crime – is running around the country until Sunday.

Members of the public are encouraged to leave any knives or sharp objects which they fear could fall into the wrong hands and be used in criminal activity in surrender bins – with one at Middle Engine Lane police station in Wallsend.

The Force will also be carrying out a range of targeted activity across our towns, cities and roads ranging from weapon sweeps to increased patrols.

Assistant Chief Constable Helen McMillan, Northumbria Police’s lead for serious and violent crime, said: "Recently, we have seen a number of high-profile cases and attacks involving knives across the country and this has understandably raised concerns.

“I would like to take this opportunity to reassure the people living in our communities that we take a very strong stance on knife crime and on all forms of serious violence.

“I would also like to stress that our area continues to experience low levels of knife crime compared to other big cities across the country, but that said, we are not complacent and any incident is one too many.

“We are fully committed to making the streets we live and work as safe as we can.”

She added: “Operation Sceptre is an extension of the relentless work we are already undertaking as part of our drive to reduce the impact of knife crime here in the North East.

“Not only will we be targeting offenders and bringing them to justice but we will be continuing our work with young people, preventing them from engaging in serious violence. We will also be working with the public and our partners to increase protection and make our communities feel safer.

“I would urge anybody who has any information about people going out with a weapon to come forward. Share that information with police, so we can act now.”

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Kim McGuinness, said: “Any initiative that helps raise awareness of the dangers of carrying a knife and that helps recover sharp objects from our streets gets my full support.

“I’m passionate about keeping our local communities safe and early intervention, preventative outreach work is at the top of my agenda.

“I’m in the process of establishing a Violence Reduction Unit to work across the whole of Northumbria, with all six local authorities, and believe a public health approach focusing on the root causes will have a positive impact on driving down crime involving knives.”

As part of the knife surrender, if any of the items disposed of are tested and found to contain DNA linking them to a crime a thorough investigation will be carried out.

The knives will ultimately be destroyed by the Force’s armoury.