As part of the national week long campaign that ran from Tuesday 18 September to Monday 24 September, knife surrender bins were placed into 16 police stations across the Thames Valley. This was to prevent unwanted knives from finding their way onto the streets. In total 733 knives and bladed articles were handed in compared to 172 in February 2018.
A number of other proactive activities were undertaken across the force to tackle knife crime. This included the use of knife arches in busy train stations, educational visits to schools, colleges and local businesses, weapon sweeps in public spaces and warrants.
Officers also worked in partnership with the Police Cadets, all under the age of 18, to conduct test purchase operations at a range of local retailers. Police Cadets attempted to buy knives and during one of the operations in Oxford, a knife was sold in seven out of 10 purchase attempts. As a result, retailers were provided with advice.
Chief Inspector Helen Roberts, the officer responsible for coordinating Operation Sceptre at Thames Valley Police, said: “Operation Sceptre is part of our ongoing proactive work to reduce knife crime across the Thames Valley. The success of last month’s knife surrender has resulted in a large volume of knives being removed from the streets.
“This work demonstrates our continued efforts to deliver a number of activities to reduce the threat of knife crime, protect our local communities and raise awareness of the dangers involved.
“It is great to see that the public have supported this campaign so positively, helping us to tackle knife crime. It is clear from these numbers that the public feels increasingly confident that disposing of their knives will have a positive impact on their community.
“If you need to report a knife related crime to the Police, please report it to us online via our website, call 101 or dial 999 in an emergency if there is an immediate danger to life.”