North Yorkshire Police is joining the national week-long campaign to highlight the dangers of carrying knives.
Operation Sceptre is a coordinated week of activity where police forces across the country raise awareness of knife crime and through information and intelligence, proactively target knife related offences. The operation runs until Monday 22 November 2021.
Officers from the force’s youth team will also be involved, carrying out educational work with young people who may be thinking of or already carrying knives, and encouraging them to make the right decisions.
A number of local police stations will be offering knife amnesty bins, where members of the public can take along any unwanted knives and safely dispose of them. Bins will be available throughout the week at York, Scarborough, Malton, Harrogate, Skipton, Northallerton and Richmond police stations. Anyone who is wanting to dispose of a knife is asked to ensure they transport it to the police station safely.
This campaign is also an opportunity to remind the public about Changes to legislation brought about by the Offensive Weapons Act 2019 which, introduced in July this year, now means it is an offence to possess certain items such as knuckledusters, throwing stars and zombie knives, even in private.
Detective Superintendent Fran Naughton of North Yorkshire Police said “Fortunately rates of knife crime in North Yorkshire are low, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t work for us to do to keep it that way. It only takes one knife in the wrong hands to cause utter devastation to a family.
“Operation Sceptre gives us the opportunity to ensure the warnings around the fatal consequences of carrying knives are kept at the forefront of the public’s mind, and helps us rid them from our streets. It also provides us with a platform to send out a clear deterrence message to anyone who carries a knife for self-defence; that it’s a completely false sense of security.
“Producing a knife does not de-escalate a confrontation, it makes a bad situation worse and drastically increases the chance of you yourself being injured by that blade.
“To anyone who is concerned for a friend or family member who they think maybe carrying a knife, please speak to them and explain the dangers. Tell them safer and smarter thing to do is to put the knife down or come and surrender it this week at a bin located at one of our police stations. You don’t have to give us your name – just come and put the knife in the bin. You could be saving a life.”
She added, “Officers will be proactively targeting any knife related offences and we will use our powers where necessary, to prevent injury or worse. So my advice is to put down the knife. By doing so you make yourself and those around you safer. Anyone with information on knife crime in their local community can always contact police on 101 or pass information to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. In an emergency, always dial 999”