Unveiled: Knife arch set to help tackle crime in Oswesty

This is the first glimpse of what revellers in Oswestry town could face on a night out. A metal detecting knife arch is being set up in the town to search for knives.

Unveiled: Knife arch set to help tackle crime in Oswesty

The aim of the arch is to make sure knives do not find their way into pubs and clubs.

PC Pete Dale, based at Oswestry Police Station, said it was an "extra tool" to assist in keeping the public safe.

He said: "Really our message is simple, people are stupid if they think it's acceptable to carry around knives with them. Many people use the excuse that they carry them for self defence but I'm afraid that's not the answer.

"The vast majority of people won't have any problem with walking through this arch but we do look out for those who spot it and walk away or refuse to go through it, if you have nothing to hide, walking through it shouldn't be a problem."

PCSO Andy Neeves, also based in Oswestry, said revellers shouldn't feel alarmed if they see the arch while they're out on the town.

He said: "This isn't designed to be intimidating, this is designed to protect the public.

"We also want to assure the public that this isn't being used in Oswestry because knife crime is a big problem in the town, it's really to back up what the British Ironwork Centre is doing with its Knife Angel project."

The arch works similarly to how a walk-through airport-style metal detector does. If the device picks up any metal objects it makes a loud beep and flashes a red light.

Meanwhile, robust measures – including the use of drug detecting wipes – are being used to crack down on drug use in market towns.

Publicans in Oswestry, Market Drayton, Whitchurch and Wem will be able to wipe surfaces in their pubs to determine whether drugs have been used on the premises – for example in the toilets.

Sergeant Keith Steele, of West Mercia Police, said if the wipes change colour, that shows whether drugs have been used on that particular surface.

He said the wipes are being used in a bid to tackle recreational drug use – particularly cocaine – in Shropshire's market towns.

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