BLUNTING knife crime is the aim of a week-long operation by Warwickshire Police.
The force is taking part in Operation Sceptre, a national intensification week during which it will ramp up its activities to take knives off streets and reduce the number of people involved in knife crime.
Officers will be involved in community engagement and educational initiatives – as well as targeted operations including knife sweeps in the county’s green spaces, targeted stop-and-searches, and test purchases.
Knife surrender bins have been placed at Leamington and Nuneaton’s police stations and other community locations, allowing people to anonymously dispose of unwanted knives and bladed items.
The week will also be used to remind local businesses of their legal responsibilities to ensure knives are not sold or delivered to under 18s.
New laws introduced last month require retailers to make sure people buying knives are over 18, label packaging to show contents and age restrictions, and deliver bladed items in person rather than to a locker or another automated ‘safe place’.
Supt Lee Kemp of Warwickshire Police said “Operation Sceptre is a national campaign which takes place twice a year, supporting the work Warwickshire Police carries out all year round to ensure residents are safe from knife crime in their community.
“We will be undertaking a range of activities in conjunction with partners, including targeted operations, community engagement, the provision of an anonymous knife disposal facility and education to reassure young people they are safer not carrying knives, and to walk away from harm.
“Everyone has their part to play in tackling knife crime. Retailers and couriers can make a big difference. We will be visiting businesses locally to talk about their responsibilities under the new laws to ensure bladed items are not sold or delivered to anyone under the age of 18.
“I would like to thank the public for their support and encourage people to continue to provide us with any information that assists the work that Warwickshire Police and partners undertake in tackling knife violence in our communities.”