Nottinghamshire Police is focused on knife crime prevention education as part of national campaign Operation Sceptre
Knife crime prevention education starts today (November 13) as part of the national campaign Operation Sceptre.
The operation which will run until Sunday, November 19 will provide a snapshot of some of the ways Nottinghamshire Police and its partners work together to tackle knife crime.
It aims to teach people from a young age about the dangers and consequences of carrying a knife or hanging out with people who do.
Nottinghamshire Police regularly sends schools and early intervention and neighbourhood policing officers into schools to speak to children about knife crime and to answer any questions they have around this subject.
Superintendent Kathryn Craner, Nottinghamshire Police’s knife crime lead, said: “While taking knives off the streets is clearly a big part of what we do as police force, stopping people from picking them up in the first place is also incredibly important to reducing knife crime.
“That decision to carry a knife can have devastating consequences, with people sometimes losing their lives or having them ruined as a result, while also causing irreparable pain to their loved ones along the way too.
“The ramifications of this avoidable act can be astronomical, which is precisely why it is so crucial that we try to educate young people about this, so that they make the right decision if they find themselves in a situation where they ever consider picking up or using a weapon.
“We will continue to do whatever we can alongside our partners to try and prevent knife crime offences from taking place, whether that be through education sessions in schools or colleges, engagement work in the community, or proactive policing techniques.
“Op Sceptre will allow us to shine a light on a small sample of some of this preventative work, along with what our officers do each day to tackle weapon-enabled crime by identifying offenders and taking knives off the streets.”
In the lead up to Operation Sceptre, Nottinghamshire Police has supported the launch of a four-week campaign encouraging young people to report information about weapon-enabled crime and other offences anonymously by using Crimestoppers' youth service 'Fearless', which can be accessed via Fearless.org or by calling 0800 555 111.
Taking knives off the streets is another key focus for the police, with several initiatives planned throughout the week, including the deployment of metal-detecting knife arches at different locations, and knife sweeps led by each of the force’s neighbourhood policing teams.
Officers will be carrying out visible patrols of hotspot areas during the week, while amnesty bins where people can anonymously dispose of unwanted knives will also be rolled out at different police stations and other locations across Nottinghamshire.
Nottinghamshire Police and crime commissioner Caroline Henry added: “We need people to understand that carrying a knife does not protect you. It actually puts you and others at risk and the consequences can be devastating.
“Nottinghamshire Police and partner agencies work incredibly hard every day to prevent knife crime; with educating and engaging the public a vital way of doing that.
“Operation Sceptre gives us a great opportunity to make people aware of the support that is out there and encourage people to reach out.”
A total of 133 weapons were seized through the force’s different initiatives during the last Op Sceptre in May 2023, with the majority being dropped off by members of the public into 13 knife amnesty bins.
This work has helped see a six per cent drop in reported knife crime offences in the county over the last 12 months, compared to the national average where there has been a four per cent increase in reports in that time.
In Nottinghamshire, reported offences have also reduced by 10 per cent in the last year, when compared to before the Covid-19 pandemic.