From today (Monday 15th November), officers from Lancashire Police will be joining other police forces in the national Operation Sceptre week of intensive action to tackle knife crime.
The operation aims to target those who are carrying weapons, raise awareness of the dangers and impacts of knife crime, and engage with retailers.
Throughout Lancashire, officers will be working together with partner organisations to visit schools to educate young people, search for knives in public places, conduct high visibility patrols, use metal detecting arches to identify people who may be carrying knives, and give advice to shops on the laws on selling knives.
Taking place from 15th-21st November, Operation Sceptre runs nationally twice a year and supports the work that Lancashire Police does to keep people across the county safe from knife and violent crime.
Temp Chief Inspector Dave Oldfield, of Lancashire Violence Reduction Network, said:
“This concentrated week of action is about police activity against knife crime but we also spend a lot of time engaging with young people and wider communities to educate people on the laws around carrying knives and the dangers and potential impacts of doing so.
“Knife crime impacts not only the individuals involved, but their families, friends and wider community. It’s truly devastating when an incident occurs so I urge anyone thinking about carrying a knife to reconsider as in a brief moment your life can be changed forever.
"Around 1% of crime in Lancashire is knife crime, which is lower than other areas, and hospital admissions in Lancashire for knife related injuries have been reducing over the last few years. Knife and violent crime are a priority and we continue to work together with partners to tackle the root causes of serious violence so that we can keep people and communities safe.
“One of the things that families, schools, and community groups can do is visit the Knife Angel sculpture. It’s in Lancashire until 29th November and groups can book onto related workshops in advance or just visit the sculpture outside Blackburn Cathedral.”
Andrew Snowden, Lancashire's Police and Crime Commissioner said:
"Tackling knife crime and violent crime is extremely important and saves lives. It doesn't just affect individuals, it affects families, friends, and entire communities so I would urge anyone considering carrying a knife, don't do it.
"Weeks of action such as Operation Sceptre allow us to highlight the work that officers do throughout the year to remove these dangerous weapons from our communities, crack down on those who carry them and make our communities safer. It also allows us to intensify our activity to address local concerns and give the public confidence that officers are working tirelessly to protect our streets.
"I am fully committed to working closely with the Constabulary as I lead the fight against crime, ensuring the force has the resources to bring offenders to justice, whilst also working with partners across Lancashire to raise awareness of just how dangerous carrying a knife is, for the person carrying it and the wider community."
If you have any information about knife crime in Lancashire, contact the police on 101 or report anonymously to the independent charity, Crimestoppers, on 0800 555 111.