Sword among police knife amnesty haul

By Barrie Hudson - 30 November 2021

Community

A sword was handed in during the Wiltshire Police Operation Sceptre knife crime awareness campaign and amnesty.

A total of 450 knives and bladed weapons were handed in at police stations, churches and community centres across the county. 
Knives, knuckledusters, samurai swords and even a large ceremonial sword were handed in during the two weeks of the amnesty.
Officers and staff from Wiltshire Police, working with several partners, took part in a number of events including:
- Swindon police cadets helping Trading Standards with test purchases to discover whether retailers would sell knives to people aged under 18 
- Visits to schools to give talks to pupils about the dangers of carrying and using knives 
- General information communicated about the latest change in the knife crime laws
In addition, arrests were made and drugs and weapons seized during a raid at a house in Swindon which was carried out as part of Operation Sceptre on 17 November.
A total of 13 amnesty bins were placed around the county for members of the public to place unwanted knives in without fear of prosecution - although officers will continue to investigate offences linked to any knives or weapons recovered.
Insp David Tippetts, who led the amnesty across the county, said: “Operation Sceptre has been very successful in as much as we have had more than 450 knives and blades handed in.
“If we can remove at least one knife off our streets or stop at least one stabbing then operations like this are helping us move in the right direction to make our communities safer.  
“The two-week campaign has also been about education aimed especially at young people who we know are more likely to get involved in this type of anti-social and violent behaviour.  
"However, the police can't stop the illegal use of knives alone.  This is about us continuing to work with our partners like the local authorities, charities and other emergency services, as well as the public to educate, engage and prevent knife crime.”  
Police and Crimes Commissioner Philip Wilkinson said: “Removing just one knife that could maim or kill from Wiltshire’s streets is to be applauded but tackling knife crime is not something the police can do alone. 
“The work of our early intervention team along with schools, charities, community groups and the health service, is vital to ensuring education of the dangers of carrying a knife reaches beyond the classroom. 
“It is the role of my office, and our partners, to continue to intervene earlier, when necessary, and to make sure we’re providing positive alternatives and opportunities to those who are at risk of, and vulnerable to, being targeted and drawn into knife crime.
“This is something I intend to do to make Wiltshire a safer place to live.”
Although the operation has finished, people can still hand in their knives and unwanted weapons at any time at their closest police station.
 

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