Lincolnshire Police launch Operation Sceptre to raise awareness of knife crime
With knife crime figures up in Lincolnshire the county's police force has started a week of action.
Operation Sceptre aims to increase awareness about the dangers of carrying knives and how the police are keeping them off the streets.
Nationally, incidents involving knives have risen by eight per cent with 80 incidents per 100,000 population.
These incidents relate heavily to either assaults to cause injury or serious harm or robberies. Possession offences are also up by 21 per cent.
In Lincolnshire, the average number of incidents per 100,000 involving knives stands at 35 – a 15 per cent increase.
Locally, these incidents are also mainly either assaults to cause injury or serious harm or robberies. These assaults usually happen in domestic properties and involve people who know each other.
The local increase in possession offences is from 183 to 263 incidents – a 44 per cent increase over a year.
Detective Chief Inspector Amy Whiffen, force lead for knife crime, said: “Lincolnshire is a really safe place to live and the vast majority of residents are highly unlikely to experience knife crime.
“That being said, we are attending more knife-related incidents and recovering more knives from our proactive stop-searches.
“People carry knives either for their own protection, to try and gain respect, out of pure anger or because they are intent on committing crime.
“Whatever the reason, carrying a knife means even the smallest situation can escalate into something much more serious or life-changing. Knife crime has devastating and lasting damage, not just to the victim and their families, but also to whole communities."
Through the Stay Safe Partnership and the Future 4 Me initiative Lincolnshire Police are focusing on educating young people. It also has a panel which can intervene when young people have become involved in knife crime.
“It is all of our responsibility to keep knives and blades out of the wrong hands," added Det Ch Insp Whiffen.
"If you have any unwanted household kitchen knives, please take them to your local Household Waste Recycling Centre on your next trip so they can be disposed of safely.”
Police and Crime Commissioner, Marc Jones, said: “It is true that the incidents of knife crime in Lincolnshire are lower than other parts of the country but the numbers are on the rise, both here and in the UK, and that is deeply concerning.
“A significant number of knife crimes end up with terrible consequences and we must do everything we can to educate people about the dangers of carrying knives."
If you know someone is in possession of a knife or has made threats to use one, call police on 101.
You can also make a report anonymously by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or visit: crimestoppers-uk.org
Did you know?
• It is illegal to carry a knife or to try to buy a knife under the age of 18
• The police can stop and search anyone they suspect of carrying a knife, the maximum penalty for which is four years in prison and an unlimited fine
• An automatic prison sentence is handed to anyone convicted twice of carrying a knife