There’s always a choice – that’s our message as part of a national week of action aimed at reducing the devastating impact of by knife crime.
From today (Monday) As part of Operation Sceptre – a countrywide clampdown on serious violence – we will be building on the proactive work already under way to tackle this type of offending.
This will include carrying out a range of targeted activity, from weapons sweeps to extra patrols and searches – to tackling the illegal importation and distribution of blades and other dangerous items.
We will also be heading back to the classroom to deliver a range of educational inputs to show young people carrying a knife is never the right choice.
A number of surrender bins will also be placed at six stations across the Force area, with members of the public encouraged to hand over any unwanted knives or sharp objects which they fear could fall into the wrong hands.
Assistant Chief Constable Neil Hutchison, from Northumbria Police, welcomed the week of action but stressed the activity is an extension of ongoing proactive work, already helping stop serious violence in the region.
He said: “I think we all have a moral obligation to work towards ending knife crime and tackling this type of offending is very much a priority for Northumbria Police.
“During my career I have seen first-hand the devastating impact knife crime has and this type of criminality has no place in our communities.
“Thankfully, here in the North East we see lower levels of knife crime than comparative areas of the country – but we are far from complacent and are committed to playing our part in ensuring this remains one of the safest places in the country.
“Our officers work day in day out to reduce the impact of knife crime and to help divert young people away from violence. We want them to know there is always a choice and they should never feel they have to carry a weapon as the consequences are extremely serious.
He added: “This week, we are also encouraging people to drop off any unwanted items into our secure surrender bins. These could be old kitchen knives, antiques you found in an attic, or something you once brought home from holiday and want to dispose of safely so they never run this risk of falling into the wrong hands.
“Our officers will be executing warrants, carrying out searches, seizing harmful weapons and anyone caught in possession of a knife will be arrested. The community can be reassured this activity is not a one-off but an extension of our ongoing work in this area.”
If you have information about someone who is in possession of a prohibited weapon, or want to report any suspicious activity, please get in touch with us using the Tell Us Something page on our website or call 101.
Alternatively, you can speak to Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555 111.
If a crime is happening, or you need urgent assistance, always call 999.