Wigan police take part in major operation to eliminate 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
"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.
"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.”