Police to 'sweep' for deadly blades at hotspots in knife crime crackdown
- Credit: PA
Police will be carrying out 'sweeps' for weapons during high profile patrols at areas identified as hotspots for knife crime and violence.
Operation Sceptre, highlighting the risks of carrying a blade, will this week see officers, alongside drugs teams and dog units, conduct patrols to target and disrupt offenders who carry and use knives.
“Every knife surrendered is one less chance of a life being ended or ruined by knife crime,” said Inspector Ian Cox.
“In Norfolk there isn’t a widespread knife problem but clearly there are incidents and we are determined to reduce that and keep a lid on it.”
Intelligence will see police target areas across the county perceived to be at higher risk of knife crime.
The launch of the operation coincided with the jailing of four Norwich teenagers over the stabbing of another youth in what the court was told was revenge for videos posted on YouTube as part of an on-going gang feud.
Inspector Cox said knife crime involving young people was “often influenced by media and film”.
“We will be carrying out hotspot patrols in certain areas where our intelligence has led us to believe there has been a problem in the past or there might be a developing problem," he said.
“Clearly there are issues with groups of youngsters, and it would be naive to say that isn’t an issue.”
During the week of action, people will be able to hand over knives without fear of prosecution at any police station.
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Areas will be ‘swept' to recover discarded blades while people are being warned they face substantial sentences if found in illegal possession of a knife.
“It is important that we prevent knife crime from happening in the first place," said Insp Cox.
"The majority of the public do not carry knives, but I would urge anyone who does carry a knife or a weapon to make a positive change and help stop knife crime.
“If you are caught carrying a knife you will be arrested and prosecuted, regardless of whether you say it was for your own protection or you were carrying it for someone else.
“Possession of a knife alone can carry a prison sentence of up to four years and should it be used in violent crime you will spend a considerable amount of time in prison.”