Week of knife crime education and awareness

By Barrie Hudson - 27 November 2023

  • An education session in progress

    An education session in progress

Wiltshire Police delivered hard-hitting knife crime education to 700 young Wiltshire people.

  • Swindon's new knife bins

    Swindon's new knife bins

It was part of the force's participation in the national OpSceptre knife crime initiative.

Officers spent a week out in the community conducting a range of activities including knife safety sweeps, high visibility patrols, test purchase operations and partnership work in schools and colleges.

This included: 

- 700 young people received the Blunt Truth presentation, an hour-long knife crime education and awareness session

- 25 community meeting/education events were held at schools, some featuring the knife arch

- 18 weapons sweeps were conducted, recovering one knife

- 30 retailers were visited, including 10 test purchase operations in Swindon, with just a 60 percent pass rate

Op Sceptre also marked the launch of four new permanent knife surrender bins in Swindon at Broadgreen Community Centre, Walcot Dome, Liden Library and Pinetrees Community Centre.

A total of 28 bladed articles have already been deposited anonymously in the bright orange bins.

Swindon hub commander Det Supt Guy Elkins said: “We know that knife crime is an issue which touches everyone across the Force area and requires a communal solution.

“Our role is to keep people safe, and to relentlessly pursue those individuals carrying and using weapons for their own gain, and putting others at risk.

“We also work with our partners in education, health, councils and departments like Trading Standards to ensure we have a collaborative and joined up approach in tackling the issue.

“Officers across the Force put in a huge amount of work last week to educate our young people on the dangers of carrying knives, how to report if someone they know is carrying a knife and how to respond if they are ever in a situation where someone has been stabbed.

“We also conducted numerous knife sweeps across the county to try and find any bladed articles which had been disposed of unsafely, and we also visited 30 retailers to monitor how they are selling knives and bladed articles.

“Working with our excellent cadets, we conducted 10 test purchase knife operations in Swindon, and it was disappointing to see four of the 10 retailers tested fail for not checking ID properly.

“The stores were given oral warnings. We all have a role to play in ensuring it’s considered unacceptable to carry a weapon or bladed article on our streets.”

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