Image of knives surrendered across Holmes Chapel and Middlewich (1)

Cheshire Police made 26 arrested and recovered a number of knives in a crackdown as part of Operation Sceptre.

Officers and Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) targeted suspected knife crime offenders in a bid to remove dangerous weapons from the streets.

It resulted in 26 arrests, the seizure of 26 knives, and another 721 weapons collected via 56 surrender bins across Cheshire.

Officers carried out 56 weapons sweeps recovering five knives, and they stopped and searched 194 people, issuing 10 warrants in relation to knife crime.

They also visited 72 schools to deliver knife crime messages for pupils, including a trauma surgeon and live performances by Perception Theatre of CUT – a production that tackles knife crime and youth violence.

And 61 retailers that sell knives were visited and given advice on age-restricted sales policies.

Officers and PCSOs also visited licenced premises in nightlife hotspots to display Operation Sceptre flyers in busy areas of pubs and bars.

Superintendent Sarah Heath, knife crime lead for Cheshire Constabulary, said: “Nationally, knife crime is a growing problem and the week-long Operation Sceptre campaign is an initiative that the force is always keen to support.

“However, knife crime is an issue the force tackles throughout the year, not just during weeks of action, with officers working day and night to protect our communities.

“At Cheshire Constabulary we have an ongoing structured prepare, protect, pursue and prevent approach to tackling knife crime that involves various partner agencies, including local authorities, education providers, health authorities, third sector organisations, youth representatives and community groups.

“We work together to achieve long-term change by educating young people about the dangers and futility of carrying weapons.

“We are proud of the fact that Cheshire has one of the lowest rates of knife crime in the country, but we are aware that there has been a 13% increase in knife crime related incidents in Cheshire over the past twelve months.

“When people carry knives, it is only a matter of time before someone suffers life-changing injuries or is killed, and if you carry a knife then you are much more likely to be involved in a knife crime.

“As all the statistics show, carrying a knife doesn’t make you safer.

“We make sure they know that carrying a knife, even if they have no intention of using it, is a crime and can increase the likelihood of suffering an injury and having a criminal record – anyone found carrying a knife in public, without a reasonable excuse, faces a prison sentence.

“We also steer them away from criminality and offer them attractive alternative ways to spend their time.

“Our goal is to achieve weapons-free streets throughout the county and we endeavour – through education, awareness and action – to make Cheshire an area where no-one carries a knife, or feels that there is a reason to do so.

“However, the police cannot achieve this goal on our own. Knife crime is a societal problem that cannot be solved without the support of society as a whole.

“If you have any information regarding knife crimes, or those who carry weapons, please let us know.

“If you know someone who carries a knife, reporting it to the police could be enough to save a life.”

To report any type of crime involving weapons, call Cheshire Constabulary on 101, or 999 in an emergency.

Information can also be passed to the force online via Report a crime | Cheshire Constabulary

Anyone who knows someone that carries a knife can report it to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via https://crimestoppers-uk.org/give-information/forms/give-information-anonymously

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