Tackling knife crime on Lancashire’s streets

Hundreds of knives have already been dropped in amnesty bins provided by police forces across the nation.
Hundreds of knives have already been dropped in amnesty bins provided by police forces across the nation.

Lancashire Constabulary is supporting a week of action aimed at reducing knife crime.

Operation Sceptre, running from May 1-7, is a national campaign targeting knife crime and those who carry knives.

While knife crime in Lancashire is no worse than many other parts of the country we are keen to stress that any incident involving a knife could have tragic consequences and destroy lives.

Chief Inspector Mark Baines, of Lancashire Police, said: “Too many families have been affected by knife crime with even one person being stabbed being one too many. The consequences of carrying and using a knife can be devastating and potentially life-threatening.

“I would appeal directly to people that if you know someone who is carrying a knife, don’t keep silent. Report it.

“The law is simple - it is illegal to carry a knife, even if it belongs to someone else.

“Anyone who is found carrying a knife and is intending to use it as a weapon – even in self-defence can be arrested, go to court and receive a police record or even a prison sentence of up to four years and an unlimited fine.”

Knife bins were used at locations across Lancashire during surrenders in 2014 and 2016. Hundreds of knives were handed in and taken off our streets. While the bins aren’t being used during this week, we will consider the use of a surrender again in the future and would encourage people to think about why they own a knife and the repercussions of carrying or using it.

Officers will also continue to carry out test purchase operations to ensure that retailers are not selling knives to people under the age of 18.

CI Baines added: “Lancashire Constabulary has a zero tolerance policy toward possession of knives in public and we take reports of knife crime very seriously. We will act on all intelligence received in a bid to prevent people losing loved ones and to detain those who intend to commit acts of violence using knives.

“If you have information about the possession of knives or offensive weapons or criminal activity relating to this type of crime, call 101 or make a report online via the Lancashire Constabulary website.

“You can also anonymously report information to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”

Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw said: “Knives are potentially lethal weapons and I fully support Lancashire Constabulary’s bid to get them off our streets.

“No-one should live in fear of knives being used in their community. I have funded a range of projects to help stop people getting involved in knife crime – from a hard-hitting film to show to our county’s young people to projects that work with vulnerable people to steer them away from crime.”

Young people are being encouraged to log onto the Trust Ed website – www.trusted2know.co.uk – to find out more about knife crime and the dangers of carrying a knife on Lancashire’s streets.

If you don’t feel ready to call police but want to talk to someone, why not contact Lancashire Victim Services or the young peoples’ support service Nest. Details can be found on the constabulary website.