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Cheshire Police announce knife crime crackdown

Cheshire Constabulary has announced that officers have been increasing efforts in tackling knife crime recently, as part of a national week of action.

The national push to reduce the impact of knife crime in communities saw Operation Sceptre run for the week between 15th May and 21st May. Despite Cheshire continuing to have one of the nation’s lowest rates of knife crime, the force has said that it is remaining determined to reduce the number of bladed weapons that are being carried. This follows a recent rise in possession offences as officers utilise a more proactive approach to stop and search.

Superintendent Andy Blizard, Cheshire’s Knife Crime Lead, said:

“We are extremely proud that Cheshire continues to see low levels of knife-related incidents, especially as knife crime is a growing issue nationally.

“However, having recently stepped up our approach to stop and search, we have seen a significant rise in people possessing bladed weapons; this mentality of needing to carry a knife to feel safe is something that Operation Sceptre has played a significant part in challenging.

“At Cheshire Constabulary we have a structured prepare, protect, pursue, and prevent approach for tackling knife crime that involves working with our various partner agencies, including local authorities, third sector organisations, youth representatives and community groups.

“The national week of action has been an opportunity to showcase the hard work of our officers and the initiatives we deploy to tackle the use of knives and other weapons.”

Operation Sceptre will be run over two weeks during the year t is offering a chance to identify the work being done by police officers to achieve a weapons-free Cheshire. One way that work on reducing the effects of knife crime is being increased is through knife sweep operations in parks and residential areas, with positive results being yielded. As part of this measure, 31 sweeps were conducted across the county, with only two blades being recovered.

Alongside the sweeps, 77 stop searches were conducted around the county, with ten of these resulting in knife-related arrests being made.

Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire, John Dwyer, said:

“Preventing and tackling crime is a priority in my Police and Crime Plan and each knife that has been surrendered or recovered by the police during Operation Sceptre could represent a life saved and contributes to making Cheshire an even safer place.

“Operation Sceptre provides an opportunity for agencies to come together to address the problem of knife crime, acting as a force for wider societal change. Knife crime isn’t something the police can tackle on their own, so the engagement between local policing teams, community groups and businesses will make it even more achievable.”

Whilst reduction in crime was the main goal, this initial week of Operation Sceptre saw notable engagement between partner organisations and the wider Cheshire community. More than 180 bladed weapons were voluntarily surrendered by members of the public, with these being put into more than 40 knife surrender bins across Cheshire. Chester’s Local Policing Unit held a drop-in knife awareness session in the centre of the city, using the opportunity to display several seized knives and weapons and help the public to keep those items off the streets.

In Disley, officers from Macclesfield North and Poynton saw more than 90 knives voluntarily handed over as part of an overwhelming turn out from the community. This was complimented by work in Crewe, the current home of the Knife Angel Sculpture, where officers from the Local Policing Unit collaborated with the Safer Cheshire East Partnership and charity CrimeBeat to provide a programme of activities.

Crewe officers with the Knife Angel sculpture

Credit: Cheshire Constabulary


Crewe Local Policing Unit has also partnered with the Knifesavers organisation, with the LPU being allocated funding for the rollout of a number of ambulance-grade Bleed Control Kits across the town. Establishments that get involved will also be provided training. During the week of Operation Sceptre, officers invited youth and volunteer groups, colleges, and local businesses to join a training session on how to treat knife wounds of all severities. This ranged from minor lacerations to wounds that cause severe bleeding and internal damage.

Sergeant Steve Tandy, Crewe Local Police Unit, added:

“With the Knife Angel having returned to the county this month, along with the launch of Operation Sceptre last week, there has been no better time to highlight the outstanding efforts from our officers in keeping knife-related incidents across our region low.

“The recent securing of funding to distribute these several game-changing Bleed Kits to several organisations across Crewe, we can limit the number of any potential fatalities or life-changing injuries at the hands of knife crime.”

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