Police knife crackdown yields 10,000 blades

May 30, 2023


A week-long police crackdown on knives resulted in the recovery of nearly 10,000 items in England and Wales.

Operation Sceptre, between May 15 and 21, saw 9,737 blades taken off the streets and 1,963 arrested in the police operation.

Less than half of those arrested were for knife crime related offences.

All 43 police forces in England and Wales took part.

Commander Stephen Clayman

Commander Stephen Clayman, of the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC), said: “There is a lot of fantastic work taking place across police forces to tackle knife crime and Op Sceptre is a great opportunity to both highlight and showcase the difference this work is making.

“Knife crime remains a complex issue and is not a problem which policing can tackle alone and it’s been really positive to see all the different examples where we are working in collaboration with partner organisations to address some of the root causes and support young people in making informed choices.

“As well as early intervention, we are working with Government to review knife crime legislation with an ongoing consultation around proposals which includes strengthening police powers to seize knives, banning the sale of the most dangerous types of knives and increasing penalties both for those selling to underage buyers and for anyone carrying a knife with the intention of endangering life.

“The consultation is still open and I’d encourage everyone to take part and have their say. This is an ongoing mission and one which needs collective ambition, energy and patience.”

Home Secretary Suella Braverman

Home Secretary Suella Braverman said: “This week’s crackdown has taken thousands of knives off the streets, along with the criminals who carry them.

“Knife crime remains a blight in our neighbourhoods, but I’m confident the police, working with schools and communities will help deter people from carrying these weapons. The Government’s consultation to outlaw knives currently not banned is still open on gov.uk, and I would urge the public to submit their responses.”

In London, the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) made 468 arrests and seized 170 knives as part of the operation.

Chief Inspector Rob Ranstead, who led Operation Sceptre for the MPS, said: “Knife crime completely destroys families and brings misery to our communities.

“The results from this operation highlight the Met’s commitment to tackling violent crime and I’m convinced that with 170 knives taken off London’s streets, we have prevented further injuries – and perhaps even fatal stabbings – from occurring.

“Operation Sceptre is an intensification of the work officers carry out every single day and although this week of activity has concluded, be assured that our officers will continue to be out on the streets every day, using every tactic available to prevent violence.

“Policing alone can’t solve knife crime or violence and I am grateful to our partners and community members that worked closely alongside us during this week of enhanced activity, as they do on any given day, to make London safer for everyone. We must all work together – the responsibility lies with us all to bear down on knife crime and violence.”


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