Officers arrest seven people in relation to knife crime offences during Trafford’s Operation Sycamore week of action. The week ran from Monday 20 to Monday 27 January and was organised in an effort to drive down knife crime in Greater Manchester.
GMP worked collaboratively under the Safer Trafford Partnership on reducing crime, as well as creating and sustaining inclusive, vibrant communities where people feel safe.
Over a seven day period, officers arrested a total of 31 people as part of a proactive policing operation, which ran concurrently to the week of action, with seven of those relating specifically to knives. The other arrests were for a wide variety of offences.
Operation Sycamore is GMP’s response to tackling serious violent crime, with a particular emphasis on knife crime. One of the aims of the operation is to understand the causes of knife crime, with a particular focus on raising awareness amongst younger members of our communities.
Throughout the week, officers engaged with hundreds of pupils from local schools that GMP work in close partnership with to raise awareness of knife crime. The visits help educate young people on how to recognise the signs of knife crime, and encourage them to think about the consequences.
As part of the work with schools, officers were on hand at a high school in Sale to provide reassurance to pupils as they arrived for their day. Pupils across Trafford also received presentations, participated in workshops and watched a drama production which highlighted child criminal exploitation and the dangers of knife crime.
Increasing awareness and educating pupils can serve as a preventative measure, and in turn, reduce the number of knife related incidents within Greater Manchester.
Over four consecutive days (Friday 24 January – Monday 27 January), officers deployed knife arches at a number of Metrolink stations across Trafford. The temporary arches were set up in the entrance to the stations and are effectively metal detectors, which help officers identify if any passengers are carrying weapons. Commuters arriving and departing from the stations were asked to go through the knife arches.
Another focus of the week, was visiting local retail stores - alongside staff from Trafford Council - to ‘knowledge check’ staff regarding the sale of knives. All of the stores’ staff engaged with officers and council staff, and displayed a sound knowledge of legal requirements, as well as demonstrating that the stores had implemented the appropriate systems and training.
GMP were pleased to see each store evidencing the use of Challenge 25 –the retailing strategy that encourages staff to ask anyone who looks under 25 to display acceptable ID (a card bearing the PASS hologram, a photographic driving license or a passport) when purchasing age restricted products.
Speaking about the week of action, Sergeant Nick Young of GMP’s Trafford division said: “We are really pleased with how the week went. We all have a part to play when it comes to tackling knife crime, and during the week of action, we engaged with the Trafford community encouraging them to help us tackle the issue.
“The prevention activities, particularly those designed to educate and divert potential offenders, were well received by the public which was great to see.
“It wasn’t just the public that were receptive to the week of action; officers were keen to take part in the Neighbourhood ‘Away Day’ hosted by Trafford, where they were given the opportunity to challenge and discuss new ways of working with regards to knife crime and partnership work.
“The work carried out this week provides us with a great platform to continue to develop our collaborative work on Operation Sycamore.”
TFGM’s TravelSafe Partnership Manager, Kate Green, said: “Fortunately, there are very few incidents involving weapons on Metrolink, but that doesn’t mean we are complacent.
“Operations like this not only deter crime and antisocial behaviour, they demonstrate the work of the TravelSafe Partnership and our proactive approach to keeping our network and customers safe.”
If you have concerns about someone you know or care about who is carrying or hiding a knife, or if you are aware that knives are being concealed in your community, call the Police on 101 or talk to us via LiveChat at www.gmp.police.uk