Police to target knife crime in week-long crackdown after spate of attacks

Knife crime

Knife crime hot spots are being targeted as part of Operation Sceptre. - Credit: PA

Knife crime hot spots and people carrying weapons into night-spots are to be targeted in a week-long crackdown by police. 

Additional visible patrols are to be undertaken from November 15 as part of Operation Sceptre which aims to disrupt criminals who carry and use knives.

As part of Operation Sceptre, Norfolk Police swept the streets of Norwich in search of knives. Pictu

As part of Operation Sceptre, police will swept the streets in search of knives. - Credit: Archant

A hi-tech 360 search pole that can detect knives or weapons will be used at pubs and clubs in Norwich, the first time Norfolk Police has trialled this type of technology to help tackle knife crime.

Norfolk Police will be one of 44 forces nationally involved in Operation Sceptre, a week of action to highlight the risks of carrying a blade.

It comes after a spate of knife crime incidents, including three people being stabbed outside Bar and Beyond on Prince of Wales Road in the early hours of October 9.

323 offences involving knives or bladed weapons were reported to Norfolk police in 2020, compared with 687 offences in 2019 though the period included Covid lockdowns and restrictions that closed pubs and clubs. 

Cromer police Pc Joey Mezzetti, left, and PC Cameron Askew, check the closed play park. Picture: DEN

Extra patrols, searches at night time venues and a weapon amnesty are to be undertaken as part of Operation Sceptre - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2020

Inspector Ian Cox from Norfolk Police said: “Norfolk does not have a big knife crime problem, but we have had incidents involving knives and we have seen the impact it can have on victims, their families and the wider community.

“It is important that we prevent knife crime from happening in the first place. The majority of the public do not carry knives, but I would urge anyone who does carry a knife or a weapon to make a positive change and help stop knife crime. 

Operation Sceptre saw thousand of knives handed in to amnesty bins like this one Picture: RACHEL EDG

Operation Sceptre knife amnesty bins in 2018. - Credit: Archant

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“If you are caught carrying a knife you will be arrested and prosecuted, regardless of whether you say it was for your own protection or you were carrying it for someone else. 

“By carrying a knife you also put yourself in much greater danger, and more likely to become involved in a violent situation and get injured yourself."

During the week of action, people will be able to hand over knives without fear of prosecution at any police station.

Police and Norfolk Trading Standards will also be carrying out checks at shops to ensure knives are not being sold to anyone under 18.

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