Wigan police take part in major operation to eliminate knife crime

Wigan 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.
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Operation Sceptre, which launches today (November 13), 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 scheme is a national initiative which takes place twice a year, and aims to reduce knife crime by targeting those carrying weapons, disrupting the supply of blades, raising awareness of the dangers of knife crime, and providing young people with alternatives to crime.

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The Operation Venture team – GMP’s dedicated serious violence and knife crime team – will also be supporting the operation with proactive uniformed and plain clothes patrols in districts across Greater Manchester.

A map of each Amnesty bin location across Greater ManchesterA map of each Amnesty bin location across Greater Manchester
A map of each Amnesty bin location across Greater Manchester

Deployments by the Operation Venture team are unpredictable and designed to prevent serious violence by seeking to identify and arrest anyone caught carrying a knife.

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The Operation Sceptre week of action will also highlight the selling of knives (including in the online space) and officers will be working with partners to engage retailers and highlight the ways in which they can be more vigilant to ensure knives are sold responsibly.

GMP will also be spreading awareness of the Forever Amnesty surrender bins, which are permanently located in police stations across Greater Manchester, all year round.

Anyone can surrender a knife anonymously in these bins with no questions asked.

Details of opening times for these police stations can be found online.

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GMP will also continue closely with a range of partner agencies, including the Greater Manchester Violence Reduction Unit, to make referrals into support services and ensure victims of serious violence are supported.

Supt Caroline Hemingway, GMP’s force lead for knife crime, said: “Knife crime has a devastating impact on families and communities.

"Weeks of action like Operation Sceptre are an opportunity to show the work GMP is engaged in all year round to tackle the issues and protect communities.

“Ultimately, we want to prevent serious violence from ever occurring and community engagement events and education form a big part of this strategy.

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"Our School Engagement Officers regularly visit schools and deliver important lessons to children and young people about the dangers of knife crime.

"We also work closely with a range of partners to raise awareness of the consequences of carrying knives and make referrals into support services with the aim of discouraging people from carrying knives.

“Many young people report that they feel safer carrying knives, but what they don’t realise is that this actually puts themselves and others at more risk of harm.

“I also want to be clear that carrying a knife in a public place is a serious offense.

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"GMP takes a zero tolerance approach and anyone caught with a knife will be arrested and could spend years in prison.

“If you suspect someone is carrying a knife, I would urge you to have those difficult conversations before it is too late and if they persist you must report it to the police.

"Too many lives have been ruined as a result of knife crime and we need communities to come together and work with us. You can help stop someone you love from becoming a victim of knife crime.”

Deputy Mayor for policing, crime, criminal justice, and fire Kate Green said: “Thanks to the work of GMP, our Violence Reduction Unit, partners, and communities, we have seen reductions in knife crime across Greater Manchester, however we know there is more work to do.

“Operation Sceptre provides an opportunity to intensify our work around raising awareness of the dangers of knife crime, educating young people and taking knives off our streets, but we all have a part to play in preventing knife crime.

“I continue to urge those that know someone who might be carrying a knife, or carrying a knife themselves, to use one of the Forever Amnesty bins located across Greater Manchester, or take a look at the #SpeakingOutCouldSaveALife campaign for help and support - #SpeakingOutCouldSaveALife - Greater Manchester Violence Reduction Unit (gmvru.co.uk).”

You can report knife crime by calling 101 or 999 in an emergency.

You can also make a report via GMP’s website

To report anonymously, call the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 or via the website: www.Fearless.org