Police launch week long operation to tackle knife crime

By Amanda Wilkins - 14 November 2023


Wiltshire Police are running a week of activity to raise awareness of tackling and preventing knife crime in our communities

Wiltshire Police will be conducting a week of intensive action around the county, ranging from enforcement to engagement activities in schools and communities. The national initiative, Operation Sceptre, will run from yesterday to Sunday 19 November to raise awareness of knife crime and the issues surrounding it.

Four new permanent knife surrender bins have been installed in Swindon to allow people to dispose of knives they are carrying safely.

The intensive activities range from enforcement activity, knife safety sweeps and high visibility targeted patrols to partnership work with schools, colleges and youth groups to educate young people on the dangers of carrying knives.

A series of workshops, called Blunt Truth, will also be delivered in schools with the aim of encouraging young people to report through their school, the police or through FEARLESS (the youth arm of Crimestoppers) if someone they know is carrying a knife.

A key feature of this iteration of Operation Sceptre is the launch of four new permanent knife surrender bins installed around Swindon.

The bins, which are located at Broadgreen Community Centre, Liden Library, Pinehurst Community Centre and Walcot Dome, are a safe way for carriers of knives and bladed articles to dispose of them anonymously.

If you know someone who carries a weapon, we ask you to encourage them to surrender it – “Bin a Knife, Save a Life”.

New Swindon Hub Commander, Superintendent Guy Elkins, said: “Operation Sceptre isn’t just about enforcement activity, it’s also about education and wider awareness of knife crime.  Teams across Swindon and the rest of Wiltshire will be conducting a wide range of activity, working with our partners in education and public health to highlight the risks of knife crime and the dangers of carrying a knife."

“We know the huge damage carrying any kind of bladed article can cause. That is why we have installed four permanent knife surrender bins in Swindon where people can safely dispose of a knife, blade or other weapon. Once deposited in the bin then it will be secure until it’s removed by professionals.I would encourage anybody in Swindon who carries a knife to please consider their choices and think about the terrible consequences that it can have, both to yourself and other people.”

Wiltshire Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Wilkinson said: “Tackling knife crime is central to my police and crime plan, and I would encourage people to safely discard any weapons or knives they may carry in the ‘knife surrender bins’ provided by Wiltshire Police. The bins are in areas where we know they are needed, and offer people a safe and anonymous way of getting rid of a knife. Across the country, thousands of weapons have been collected in similar bins and every knife collected in Swindon could potentially save a life.”


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