Nottinghamshire Police's knife crime teams keep up pressure on criminals as Operation Sceptre campaign launches
Work by two dedicated knife crime teams has led to 259 people being hauled before the court this year.
Nottinghamshire Police's pursuit to drive down offences has also seen them carry out 1,474 stop and searches and take 168 dangerous weapons off the streets.
And they have vowed to crank up the pressure on criminals as they continue to protect the public.
Their activity, including the use of stop and search powers, is helping to deter people from carrying blades in the first place, as well as providing reassurance that offenders will be caught and robustly dealt with and weapons and drugs taken off the streets.
Video footage, released by the force today to mark the start of the national Operation Sceptre campaign, shows the proactive city knife crime team swooping on a car last week.
Drugs, which often go together with knife crime, were recovered from the vehicle and the driver and passenger were dealt with.
It comes as a spotlight is shone on the force’s constant work all year round to tackle knife crime — by supporting this week’s national Operation Sceptre campaign.
New figures released by the force (January 1 to November 11) show the positive difference the city and county knife crime teams are making to reduce violent crime and keep people safe.
Since the start of this year alone the teams have made 380 arrests and made 425 drug seizures and 250 vehicle seizures.
The city knife crime team’s investigations have led to 183 people being charged with offences during this period, with 76 more people charged/ summoned to court on the back of the county knife crime team’s hard work.
The huge effort going on to tackle and reduce crime is also reflected in the almost 20,000 miles patrolled by the city team alone so far this year.
Since the city team’s inception in January 2016, it has seized 690 weapons.
The determined ongoing work of knife crime team members has contributed to knife crime dropping by 25% in the last three years.
The latest figures, released by the Office for National Statistics, also show knife crime has fallen by 10% in the last year (year to June 2021).
Police Constable Ken Tinley and his city knife crime team colleagues carried out proactive vehicle patrols in the Radford area on Wednesday (November 10).
While out patrolling in the city and county the officers work closely together as a team, usually split up in pairs, and keep in regular contact with each other as they look for suspicious activity in hot-spot areas.
A crew member has a laptop enabling them to quickly find up-to-date information concerning persons or vehicles of interest.
PC Tinley said: “While we have seen a significant drop in knife crime, incidents involving knives are still going on and we see the huge damage and impact they cause to people’s lives.
“While on patrol we look out for faces we know and look for behavioural indicators. Things like people who might be acting strangely or hanging around with individuals who are of interest to us.
“A lot of the people we come across in our day-to-day work are involved in serious or organised crime such as drug dealing which often goes hand-in-hand with knife crime.
“We are passionate about what we do and take a lot of pride in keeping Nottinghamshire safe.”
After doing checks on a red Octavia estate car they had spotted earlier, PC Tinley and colleague PC Joe Riley were alerted it was back on the move in Radford and assisted fellow team members in a stop and search.
The car smelt strongly of cannabis. Checks revealed the driver had no licence or insurance and a quantity of the Class B drug was found in the vehicle.
The car was seized, the driver was summoned to appear in court and a passenger was handed a community resolution over possession of cannabis.
PC Tinley added: “A proactive stop search can often lead us to finding and seizing other items, including knives.
“Drug dealers we come across will often carry knives so they can protect their products and protect themselves from other drug dealers as well.”
As well as spending lots of time on patrol and developing our own intelligence, the knife crime teams also work on ongoing investigations.
Sergeant Matt Daley, from the city knife crime team, said: “While the team is dedicated to tackling knife crime, we often encounter drugs and road offences as part of our proactive work.
“Weapon-enabled violence is often linked to drugs, particularly supply, as it’s in their vested interest to keep those drug lines open. That normally has to be enforced with at least the threat of violence and/or violence itself.
“By tackling drug dealers we tend to come across weapons as well at the same time, enabling us to take drugs and knives out of circulation.”
The ongoing work of the knife crime teams will continue during Operation Sceptre campaign which runs until midnight on Sunday (21 November 2021).
Position action taking place, involving different force teams, will include weapons sweeps and patrols, educational sessions on knife crime for schoolchildren and awareness-raising workshops for young people.
A knife amnesty is being held across Nottinghamshire this week, enabling people to leave their unwanted knives in amnesty bins.
People can hand in their knives without fear of prosecution for doing so for the duration of the amnesty.
Stop and search activity will also be carried out and a metal-detecting knife arch used to help detect and remove blades from harm’s way.
The force’s dedicated Operation Reacher teams and schools and early intervention officers will also continue their hard work across the force area to prevent incidents and steer young people away from crime.