Kent Police will be joining other forces across the country to support the latest national week of action in the fight against knife crime.

Operation Sceptre runs from Monday 26 April to Sunday 2 May 2021 and will see an increased focus to prevent and detect weapons being carried on the streets across the county. In line with previous Op Sceptre campaigns, enhanced measures to identity and apprehend those carrying knives will see a greater use of targeted stop and search, as well as weapon sweeps in public places.

The initiative is being supported by partners including British Transport Police, and members of the public may notice a greater police presence at locations such as train stations and parks, with enforcement efforts also boosted by knife arches and plain clothed patrols.

Kent Trading Standards will also be involved, and local officers and PCSOs will be working closely with retailers to remind them of the laws around selling knives. This will include checking shops are adhering to legislation including Challenge 25.

Detective Superintendent Shaun White said: ‘Operation Sceptre is a national campaign which takes place twice a year and is an extension of the relentless work our officers already do to, night and day, to keep our communities safe. With lockdown restrictions further easing and the weather getting warmer, more and more people will be visiting our towns, parks and other public places, so this week of action will give us the opportunity to build on existing activity and enforcement.

‘Carrying a knife, even for protective purposes, puts you at greater risk of becoming a victim yourself and this campaign also acts as an important reminder about how serious we are about targeting serious violence and keeping weapons off our streets. It also enables us to crackdown even harder on associated offences such as county lines drugs supply, as well as public order offences linked to excessive alcohol consumption during evenings and weekends in our town centres.’

National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for knife crime, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Graham McNulty, added: ‘Coronavirus has been a huge part of everyone’s lives for over a year now but we want to remind people that our normal policing role hasn’t stopped during this time. Forces are determined to tackle violent crime and with the restrictions easing, taking knives off our streets and helping people understand the dangers of carrying a knife remains a top priority.’

By Ed

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