As part of its ongoing commitment to reduce street violence, West Mercia Police took part in a national campaign to tackle knife crime earlier this month.
Operation Sceptre, led by the Home Office, saw a dedicated week of activity aimed at raising awareness of the dangers of carrying a knife though virtual school visits and speaking to children and young people.
West Mercia Police said knife crime is low across Shropshire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire in comparison to other parts of the country, but that they remain committed to ensuring work is carried out to tackle serious violence.
The operation ran from Monday, November 9, to Sunday, November 17, during which the team arrested 16 people for knife related incidents and collected five knives.
A total of 17 premises were also visited; 13 schools and two further education establishments received educational inputs around the dangers of carrying a knife; and five transport hubs were also visited.
Throughout the week enforcement activity was also carried out and officers worked with colleagues from British Transport Police with the knife detection arch in place at key locations, including train stations.
Community weapon sweeps were carried out through parks and public places, and premises remaining open under the enhanced Covid-19 restrictions were visited to offer support around their policy and procedure on the sale of knives.
Officers also worked with Border Force to intercept knives and weapons being imported into the country intended to be delivered to local addresses.
Head of Local Policing, Chief Superintendent Paul Moxley, said: “While we don’t see the same levels of knife crime in comparison to other parts of the country, it is important we continue to carry out work to help keep it low.
“We know one knife incident is one too many and the more we can do to raise awareness of the dangers of carrying a knife and take action when we do think someone may be involved in knife crime, or on the periphery of becoming involved in knife crime the better.
“Operation Sceptre saw a focussed week of activity to reduce knife crime however I would like to offer my reassurance that this work is carried out throughout the year by our teams across the force.”
Chief Superintendent Moxley added: “We would encourage anyone who is concerned someone they know may be involved in knife crime to report their concerns. They don’t need to do this to police, they can report concerns anonymously through Crimestoppers or Fearless where they don’t need to give their details.
“It’s not about criminalising children and young people involved in knife crime it’s about making sure they have support and guidance to find an alternative route, helping to make their life, and the lives of those around them, much safer."
Crimestoppers can be contacted on 0800 555 111 or visit Fearless at www.fearless.org.