CHESHIRE Police has launched a bid to take knives off the streets as part of a national campaign

Held next week - from Monday, April 26, to Sunday, May 2, Operation Sceptre aims to reduce the impact of knife crime in communities.

Cheshire has one of the lowest rates of knife crime in England, and statistics show that the number of knife-related offences committed in the county decreased by 24 per cent from the end of March 2020 to the end of March 2021.

The force is determined to further reduce the number of knives carried on Cheshire’s streets.

The force’s considerable ongoing efforts in this regard will be heightened by enforcement and engagement initiatives held in Cheshire during the national week of action.

These include:

Community weapons sweeps

Stop and search operations

Warrants being executed in related to knife crime

Intelligence-led action against habitual knife carriers

Test purchase operations

The operation will also see constabularies work alongside Border Force to identify people who import knives into the country from overseas, as well as those who buy weapons online, and take the appropriate action.

Chief Inspector Sarah Heath, who is Cheshire Constabulary’s knife crime lead, said: “Nationally, knife crime is a growing problem, and the week-long Operation Sceptre campaign is an initiative that the force is always more than happy to support.

“We were severely restricted in terms of the work we could do during last year’s two weeks of action for Operation Sceptre, with them having fallen when the country was in lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Now that we have come out of lockdown, there are more avenues open to us in terms of tackling knife crime across Cheshire over the seven days.

“However, knife crime is an issue that the force tackles throughout the year, with officers working day and night to protect communities."

To report any type of crime involving weapons, call Cheshire Constabulary on 101, or 999 in an emergency.

Information can also be passed to the force online via Report

Anyone who knows someone that carries a knife can report it to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.