Monday (15 May 2023) marked the start of Operation Sceptre, an initiative to tackle knife crime across the UK which brings together all 43 police forces and British Transport Police in a week of intensified action.

Throughout the week, Kent Police has planned activity to target knife crime from its root cause right through to enforcement.

The operation will see officers engaging with local communities and working with young people to dispel myths around knives. Operation Sceptre showcases the many varied and impactful ways in which policing is working to reduce knife crime and tackle violence.

Superintendent Pete Steenhuis of Kent Police said: ‘Each of the county’s districts has a tailor-made plan for the week responding most appropriately to the differing demands of knife crime in their area.

‘Members of the public can expect to see high visibility patrolling, weapons sweeps, the use of knife arches at public houses and bars, and even engagement with local schools and youth associations.

‘Officers will also be holding knife amnesties for those in possession of bladed weapons to forfeit them in knife boxes.’

Commander Stephen Clayman is the National Police Chiefs’ Council’s knife crime lead.

He said: ‘Introduced in 2015, Operation Sceptre has galvanised activity, dedicating a week to intensified activity twice a year.

‘This doesn’t mean we only look at this twice a year, but Sceptre is an opportunity to really focus on our efforts to tackle knife crime at a number of levels – from engaging with young people in schools to proactive patrols and knife sweeps.

‘As ever, partnership working is integral to our approach and this week will also shine a spotlight on the many initiatives where policing joins charities, local organisations and government to bring real change for our communities.

‘This is an ongoing mission and one which needs collective ambition, energy and patience.’


Operation Sceptre will also highlight the Home Office consultation on new knife legislation proposals to tackle the use of machetes and other bladed articles in crime.

The consultation is the result of partnership working between the NPCC National Knife Crime Working Group and the Home Office with proposals developed to support policing in targeting knife crime at a number of stages from retailers to offenders.

The consultation is open to everyone and closes 6 June. Take part here.

By Ed

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