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Stop-and-searches in Shropshire weapon crackdown

By Rory Smith | Crime | Published:

The knife crime strategy being implemented across Shropshire has been launched in line with a week-long national campaign.

Operation Sceptre is an initiative which takes place twice a year, supporting the work of police forces across the UK in efforts to ensure residents are safe from knife crime in their communities.

The launch was designed to coincide with new legislation that means that those convicted of carrying a knife for the second time will face a mandatory custodial sentence.

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Operation Sceptre seeks to target not only those who carry and use knives, but also the supply, access and importation of weapons.

This year, the campaign has run from March 11 and September 16.

Police forces across the country have implemented knife amnesty bins and conducted a number of initiatives throughout the week to raise awareness and reduce knife crime.

In Shropshire this week, knife amnesty bins have been placed in the police divisional headquarters in Telford and Shrewsbury.

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Members of the public can discard of knives and other bladed articles under a "no questions asked" policy without having to leave details.

High visibility stop-and-searches in the hotspot locations throughout the county are also taking place, along with an increase of warrants being carried out where it is believed the criminal activity is linked to knife crime.

Shops in Telford & Wrekin and Shropshire will also be subject to test purchase operations with trading standards.

This will mean shops believed to be selling knives to children or people underage will be tested and prosecuted if caught.

Police presence throughout the county's schools has also been increased this week, with officers taking part in formal and informal sessions during lesson time, at lunch and after school.

A number of community events have also taken place with West Mercia Police and partner agencies.

Rory Smith

By Rory Smith
Reporter - @rorysmith_star

Trainee news reporter based at the Shropshire Star's Ketley office in Telford.

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