124 knives taken off the streets of Greater Manchester as part of Op Sceptre
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The latest knife crime prevention campaign from Greater Manchester Police (GMP) has seen 124 knives recovered and 45 people arrested for knife-related offences.
The Operation Sceptre national week of action - which ran from Monday 16 – Sunday 22 May 2022 – saw the force intensify its focus on reducing knife crime and serious violence through education, engagement, prevention, and enforcement; all of which are vital elements to reducing knife crime.
Over the course of the week, officers deployed knife arches and conducted warrants, high-visibility patrols, 229 weapon sweeps and 119 visits to those suspected of carrying knives.
Working alongside partners, colleges and schools, officers delivered 94 anti-knife sessions and engaged with thousands of pupils across Greater Manchester, to help raise awareness of knife crime and the devastating impact carrying a knife can have. The sessions covered the dangers and consequences of carrying knives and the laws around it, as well as advice on how to avoid becoming involved in knife crime.
With the support of Trading Standards, officers also made 168 visits to local retail stores to ‘knowledge check’ staff regarding the sale of knives and check they were not breaking the law by selling knives to anyone under 18. For the limited number that fell short of expectations and requirements, they were given written warnings or issued advice, and GMP will work with them to ensure they are legally compliant.
Superintendent Caroline Hemingway, GMP's knife crime lead, said: “The success of Op Sceptre is a result of the continued work that we carry out in our communities – not only raising awareness about the dangers of knife crime through preventative activities, but also enforcing the law. I hope the results from the week send a strong message to those involved that we are robustly tackling knife crime and that carrying or using a knife, will not be tolerated here in Greater Manchester.
“Our work does not stop at the end of Op Sceptre. We remain committed to tackling knife crime and we will continue our long-term work with partners from the Greater Manchester Violence Reduction Unit to get to the root of the issue, as early intervention is a significant part of this crucial work.
“It’s important to highlight that most people do not carry knives, which is why we must dispel the myths around carrying a knife to help prevent youngsters from deciding to pick up a knife for what they believe is protection. We must make it clear to young people that carrying a knife or any other form of bladed weapon, doesn't make you safer as it can be used against you – it is also illegal.
"It is easy to say knife crime is an issue for public agencies, but we all have a part to play in tackling knife crime in our communities. I encourage members of the public to continue to provide us with any information or intelligence that you may have, as this supports the work that GMP and our partners undertake in our fight against knife crime and allows us to take the necessary action to minimise the devastating impact it can have on our communities. Remember, speaking out could save a life.”
To report an incident to GMP, please call the Police on 101 or talk to us via LiveChat at www.gmp.police.uk. Always dial 999 in an emergency. Reports and concerns can also be made anonymously through CrimeStoppers on 0800 555 111 or via www.fearless.org.
If you carry a knife or weapon, we urge you to surrender it at one of our 13 Forever Amnesty bins located across Greater Manchester. You can find the location of your nearest bin here.