Lives not knives
We’re once again throwing our support behind Operation Sceptre – the national week of action to tackle knife crime, dispel myths about carrying weapons and raise awareness.
While officers carry out year-round activity to target offenders, take weapons out of circulation and educate communities, additional work will be carried out this week to further highlight the dangers of knife crime.
From today (Monday) until Sunday, officers will build on their existing work with targeted patrols and searches, as well as executing warrants and teaming up with partners across transport hubs.
Colleagues in the Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) ran by Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuinness, will also be visiting a range of schools and colleges to engage with young people.
Surrender bins have also been placed at seven stations across the Force and we are encouraging members of the public with any unwanted knifes or sharp objects to hand them over.
Chief Superintendent Helena Barron, Northumbria Police’s serious youth violence and knife crime lead, welcomed the week of action and called on the community to work together.
She said: “Sadly, we have seen the devastation which can come from carrying a knife with lives lost, futures destroyed and families left heartbroken.
“Officers across our Force are carrying out work every single day to reduce the impact this type of offending has on our communities.
“And as part of Operation Sceptre, we will be building on this extensive work – reinforcing the message that it is completely unacceptable to carry a knife or weapon.
“We’ll be targeting offenders, seizing weapons and stepping up our patrols, while our partners will be delivering education inputs to young people about the dangers of carrying weapons.”
She added: “We’re also calling on our communities to help.
“People can bring in any unwanted knives to one of our surrender bins so they can’t fall into the wrong hands.
“If you have any concerns about someone carrying a knife, please pass information to an officer, a trusted adult, or anonymously to Crimestoppers.
“Don’t stay silent or turn a blind eye if someone you know is carrying a weapon – do the right thing and work with us and take action now.
“We would also urge families to sit down and talk openly with children about the dangers of carrying knives.
“By coming together, we can all play or part in tackling knife crime and keeping our region safe.”
Police and Crime Commissioner, Kim McGuinness added: “Carrying or using a knife, or even associating yourself with those who do, is never acceptable, it’s that simple.
“Through proactive weeks of action like this that message is reinforced, but it’s important our communities know this work happens all year round, day in, day out.
“Alongside the enforcement work, my Violence Reduction Unit will continue to work with young people across the region, educating, raising awareness, and diverting those at risk of criminality away from that lifestyle.
“We know knife crime is something that our communities are concerned about after recent incidents, so I hope they are reassured this is a top priority of ours and they’ll see how we are tackling and preventing it through weeks like this.”
Surrender bins are now at the following stations: Southwick, Millbank, Gateshead, Forth Banks, Bedlington, Middle Engine Lane and Hexham.
They will remain in place until Sunday, May 21.
Visit our website for station opening times.
Keep an eye on our social media channels for more #OpSceptre updates.
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.
Alternatively, you can speak to the charity Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555 111.
If a crime is happening, or you need urgent assistance, always call 999.