Over the last month, six regional police forces have worked closely with the Regional Organised Crime Unit (ROCU) and the National Crime Agency (NCA), including sorting offices and Border Force to intercept a total of 116 knives, swords and other offensive weapons that have been ordered online and sent to residents across the North West, with many of those disguised and labelled as something altogether different.
Police in Lancashire have teamed up with colleagues from Greater Manchester, Cheshire, Merseyside, Cumbria and North Wales as part of the North West Regional Organised Crime Unit (ROCU) to tackle knife crime by intercepting suspicious packages being sent in both domestic and international postage channels. 28 of the 116 were linked to addresses in Lancashire.
Martial arts swords, hunting and butterfly knives, knuckle dusters and skinning knives, including taser devices disguised as car fobs are only some of the weapons that have been seized by Border Control, with throwing knives and swords hidden in walking sticks highlighting the lengths some will go to in order to conceal offensive weapons.
Chief Inspector Steven Anderton, from Lancashire Constabulary's Violence Reduction Unit said: “This operation highlights the fantastic collaborative work of six police forces and our partner agencies to tackle the importation of weapons that could be used to seriously harm members of our communities. We have identified where those packages were intended to land, and have made extensive enquiries into their intended use and issued written warnings to those vendors. As a result, we have seized a number of additional weapons including imitation firearms, further knuckle dusters and martial arts swords, batons and incapacitating red dyes. One such member has had his shotgun licence revoked as a result of our enquiries.
“We will continue local initiatives such as stop and search, educational visits and will respond robustly to community concerns, and we will continue to work closely with border forces and partner agencies to intercept packages containing offensive weapons in a bid to tackle knife crime.
“Let this be a warning to anyone who is considering purchasing weapons online that these packages will be intercepted and destroyed, and we will continue to come down hard on those who continue to break the law.”
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