Communities urged to 'pull together' as police focus on tackling knife crime

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Police will be searching for hidden knives, conducting high-profile patrols and working with young people during a week of action to tackle knife crime.

Operation Sceptre, which launches on Monday, is an initiative co-ordinated by the National Police Chief’s Council to raise awareness of knife crime and the police action in detecting, reducing and preventing it.

The week is also a chance for people to surrender any knives or bladed articles that could be used as weapons at amnesty bins located around Greater Manchester.

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Police are focusing on knife crime this weekPolice are focusing on knife crime this week
Police are focusing on knife crime this week

Police are working with partners including Greater Manchester Violence Reduction Unit, local authorities, public health, youth workers and charities to protect people from the threat of knife crime.

There will be extra high-visibility patrols, particularly in hot-spot locations and targeting repeat offenders; an additional focus on keeping people safe on nights out and in town centres; work to raise awareness of Challenge 25 when people buy knives; work with schools, colleges and youth groups to educate young people on the dangers of carrying knives; and weapons sweeps to check for hidden or discarded knives.

Supt Caroline Hemingway said: “Operation Sceptre is an opportunity to highlight the dangers of knife crime and show how enforcement helps keep the public safe.

“Whilst our officers are doing vital work, we know that much more needs to be done to ensure that people feel safe and GMP will continue to step up its policing response.

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"In December 2022, GMP set up Operation Venture, which is a dedicated team of officers who are ring-fenced to tackle knife crime and serious violence. This team has already seen great results with over 141 arrests made and 47 weapons seized in just four months. The team are continually building an intelligence picture around knife crime hot-spots and will continue to target offenders and protect communities across Greater Manchester.

"Our officers also act on intelligence and often the most important information we receive is given to us by members of the public and I would anyone with information to share it so we can act upon it.

"Sadly, some people think it's normal to carry a knife and we need communities to pull together and challenge that behaviour."