1,936 children and young adults engaged with
470 knives recovered
258 Stop and Searches conducted
One week of action
Last week, we joined police forces across the country to take part in #OpSceptre – a co-ordinated clampdown on knife crime and serious violence.
The extensive activity built on the existing work going on around the clock across the Northumbria Police area, to reduce the devastating impact knives can have in the community.
This year, Op Sceptre was supported by a wide range of partners from the Police and Crime Commissioner, Kim McGuinness, to local authorities, as well as prominent campaigner Tanya Brown, whose son Connor was fatally stabbed in 2019.
During the week of action, a total of 440 knives were dropped into surrender bins placed at several stations across the Force area, with another 30 seized during searches, sweeps and warrants.
A total of 141 people were arrested, 18 of which were for knife related offences, and 23 weapons sweeps were carried out.
Officers also conducted 258 stop and searches, executed 14 warrants and 219 other interactions, including high-risk offender visits, wanted person enquiries and additional patrols – some of which utilised the knife arch.
Some 306 people were spoken to across 10 community meetings and educational events hosted in conjunction with the Youth Justice Service and Integrated Offender Management team and a total of 59 school sessions were also hosted, with 1,936 children and young adults learning all about the dangers of knife crime.
And joint work with UK Border Force also saw 45 people being issued with written warnings after attempting to import knives and offensive weapons into the country.
The Force’s Serious Violence and Knife Crime Lead Chief Superintendent Helena Barron said: “Knives ruin lives and there’s no escaping that fact. By carrying a knife, you run the risk of destroying multiple lives, including your own, and we can’t spread that message far enough.
“As police we are determined to do all we can to tackle knife crime, but we know we can’t do this alone as such a societal issue really needs a joined-up community response.
“But that’s what’s great about these results. They show what can be done when we work in conjunction with our partners to get into schools and educate children and young people and listen to their concerns. They show what can happen when we reach out to those in the youth justice system and offer an alternative pathway away from a future of criminality.
“Weeks like this show how committed our officers are to reducing knife crime, enforcing the law and pursuing those who flout it.
“Our communities should be encouraged by these incredible results. Operation Sceptre is not a one-off but an extension of what we are doing year-round. We’d ask that people continue to trust in us by sharing their concerns, reporting what they see, helping us dispel myths and misconceptions that carrying a weapon is acceptable, and standing firm with us as we work to eradicate serious violence.”
Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuinness added: "This has been another excellent week of action carried out by the Force, highlighting our ongoing commitment to preventing and tackling knife crime in our communities and across our region.
"In addition to the positive proactive work taken by Northumbria Police, my Violence Reduction Unit has worked with young people and professionals throughout the week, educating them on the dangers of carrying a knife or even associating yourself with those who wrongly decide to, and upskilling others on the warning signs and how to support those on the cusp of criminality."
"We've also seen increased presence across our transport network through our Safer Transport Northumbria work - ranging from additional policing resource to Nexus security teams, British Transport Police, and more youth workers.
"Just because this dedicated week of action of over, our work to tackle this issue will not stop.
"No family should have to experience the loss that this senseless crime brings, and we'll continue to take swift, robust action against anyone who tries to bring harm to our communities."
You can use our online reporting tool to share concerns – visit the ‘Tell us Something’ page on our website.
Alternatively, you can contact independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555 111 or visiting their website