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Hundreds of knives handed in during week of action

More than 500 knives were handed in to police during a week of intensification on knife crime – leaving no chance of them getting into the wrong hands and being used on the streets.

Operation Sceptre brings together all 43 police forces across England and Wales in a week of intensified action with forces coordinating activity which targets knife crime from the root cause right through to enforcement.

A variety of activities took place across Derbyshire throughout the week, including weapons sweeps, visits to schools and local communities, events and knife surrender bins to remove knives from the streets.

Safer Neighbourhood Teams also visited 58 retailers, and six test purchases took place, to check that those selling knives were following the rules. Three passed and three failed, and retailers that failed were given warnings, with action being taken by Trading Standards where necessary.

Over the course of the week, two people were arrested as officers conducted search warrants and acted on information from communities. During this work, they also recovered another nine knives.

Helping young people to move away from violence and involvement in gang activity forms a significant part of the week. The focus was on education, including with members of the public and retailers who sell knives. Sixty-eight school visits took place, reaching more than 5,500 young people, and locals took part in more than 60 community or educational events across the county.

Superintendent Ranjit Dol, the force lead for Knife Crime and Serious Violence, said: “We are pleased to see people’s positive reception to Op Sceptre and want to thank everyone who came to the events or handed in old or unwanted knives.

“These are very often old kitchen knives that are no longer used, but by handing them in to us it is a massive preventative effort. You’ve helped ensure they are disposed of safely and that there’s no chance they can fall into the wrong hands – and this should be a great reassurance to communities.

“It is great to see the dedicated efforts of our officers paying off, not just this past week, but all year round.

“Educating young people is also hugely important, both in our prevention work and offering diversionary activities to those at risk. We’ve been able to reach thousands of young people this week alone, which is a great effort from our officers, and we want to thank all the schools we visited for being open to working with us.

“By visiting schools, talking to the community and with retailers we have been able to strike up some really important conversations with people and direct them to the support or additional knowledge where needed.

“We’d also like to say a big thank you to all of our partners who have proactively engaged with us and supported many of the initiatives that our officers have been leading or taking part in over the past week. By working together in this way, we can make sure Derbyshire remains a safe place to live, work and visit.”

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