Police working with schools to remove knives from streets in Cumbria

More than seventy knives were handed in to Cumbria Police during an amnesty in June 2023. Credit: ITV Border

Police in Cumbria are working with schools across the county to educate young people on knife crime and hopefully cut down on the number of knives on streets.

Cumbria Constabulary is supporting a national, week-long knife crime campaign, beginning on Monday 13 November.

As part of nationwide Operation Sceptre, people can dispose of knives anonymously and safely in amnesty bins at local police stations.

Officers will be going into schools to help teach young people about the potential disastrous consequences resulting from carrying a knife, whilst neighbourhood policing team officers will be carrying out test purchasing operations to ensure retailers are not selling knives to children.

Chief Inspector Steve Hunter said: “Whilst the opportunity to dispose of knives grabs the most attention, Operation Sceptre week is not just about enforcement activity - it is also about education and a wider awareness of knife crime.

“It is incumbent upon us all to speak to our young people about the dangers of carrying a knife.

“Our officers will be going into schools to speak about police experience – from the horrific scenes officers witness when responding to the aftermath of an assault with a knife to witnessing the significant sentences handed down to those who choose to carry a knife in public.

“But the message needs to come not only from the police but all parts of society – starting with the family and parents. Speak to your children today and make sure they know the dangers and that there is no excuse for knife possession.”

Possessing a knife not only increases the risk of personal harm but can also result in a fine of £5,000 and a four-year prison sentence.

Ch Insp Hunter said: “Op Sceptre week includes an amnesty opportunity – an ideal chance for those possessing a dangerous knife or other blade to come forward and rid themselves of it. It is a quick process and your action will help make your community a safer place.

“Every knife or blade that is handed in is one less weapon which could fall into the wrong hands.”

Cumbria’s Deputy Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, Mike Johnson, said: “Operation Sceptre is an incredibly positive initiative as it allows the public to proactively dispose of potentially dangerous weapons without fear of reprimand and also provides education to young people about the dangers of carrying a knife.

“Simply being in possession of a weapon means that it is more likely to be used, please do not risk it and place it to one of the amnesty bins around the county.

“No one wants to be involved in an incident involving a knife or a firearm as it can have a serious effect on people’s lives and, in the worst-case scenario, could be fatal.

“This is also a good opportunity to talk to your children about the dangers and risks around carrying a weapon and the long-term consequences if they are caught.

“Let’s work together to make Cumbria an even safer place to live.”

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