Wiltshire Police part of national knife crackdown

By Barrie Hudson - 13 May 2024

CommunityCrime

Sceptre – a national knife crime campaign aimed at the reduction of knife-related violence and the education about knife dangers - has been launched.

During this week - 13 to 19 May - officers from Wiltshire Police will continue their work to tackle knife crime and use it as an opportunity to educate the public on the dangers of carrying a weapon.

As well as enforcement work, officers from different teams will be conducting targeted activity including weapons sweeps, test purchasing operations and school visits in conjunction with specialist charities.

Reducing violence across the county is a priority under Chief Constable Catherine Roper, and the force says the latest figures show the volume of crimes involving knives/bladed articles in the 12 months to April 2024 has reduced by 5.6% compared to the previous year.

The arrest rate for crimes involving knives and blades over the last 12 months is 51%, an increase of 5.2% compared to the year before to April 2023.

County Superintendent Doug Downing said: “Knife crime has a devastating impact on families and communities.

“That’s why we are using this week of action as an opportunity to showcase the year-round work of officers and partners, to not only enforce but to prevent and engage with communities about the dangers of knife crime.

“There is no excuse for carrying a knife. Our message is simple, carrying a knife puts yours and other lives at risk. Our officers are committed to keeping people safe on our streets – anyone caught with a knife will be arrested and put before the courts.”

Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Wilkinson said: "Over the past few weeks, the devastating impact of knife crime has been highlighted again following the sentencing of three teenagers from Wiltshire for the murder of Mikey Roynon at a house party in Bath.

 “This shows why we police forces, local councils, health agencies, police and crime commissioners and, most importantly, local communities, need to work together to combat knife crime.

 “It’s important we engage with young people, who are more likely to be involved in knife crime, and to use every means possible to divert them from participating in dangerous criminal behaviour.”

As part of Sceptre, a new permanent knife surrender bin has been installed in Devizes at the Wiltshire Football Association HQ at Green Lane.

This is the first outside Swindon and marks the continuation of plans to install them across the county.

Bins can be used by people to safely and anonymously discard any knives or weapons they are carrying.

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