'If you're carrying a knife, expect to be stopped' - that's the stark message from Merseyside Police at the start of a national week of action dedicated to tackling knife crime.
Police across the country will be taking part in Operation Sceptre, designed to crack down on the threat of knife crime.
Merseyside Police warned they would be proactively targeting those carrying weapons, and aiming to raise awareness of the dangers of knife crime whilst also providing young people with more positive alternatives to crime.
It is about starting a conversation with children and young people and about starting to change the attitude towards carrying a knife - its not ok to carry a knife, The consequences of carrying a weapon are absolutely huge.
Superintendent Jenn Wilson said:
"Although this week highlights knife crime in particular, this remains our priority all year round. With determination from us and support from the public, I have no doubt that we can positively impact our communities and make changes to ensure the safety of all those living in and visiting Merseyside."
Across Merseyside, officers will be carrying out a variety of policing activity including open land searches, stop searches, high visibility and plain clothed patrols, weapon sweeps as well as working with our partners, local schools, youth clubs and retailers.
Supt Wilson continued:
"This concentrated week of action is dedicated to tackling knife crime, but we will also spend a lot of time talking to the wider public and educating young people about the dangers carrying a knife can lead to. We hope that this intervention activity along with our proactive policing can deter them from getting involved in this sort of criminality and provide them with appropriate advice and support to seek more positive futures.
"In addition to #OpSceptre, we continue with our own forcewide initiative; Operation Target, which is focused on reducing all serious and violent crime. We're proud that this financial year (April 2020-March 2021) has resulted in a 4,312 people being arrested for knife and serious violence offences as well as seeing a 15% decrease in serious violence compared to the same period the previous year (2019-2020).
"Our collaborative #BladeFree campaign also provides a hub for young people to find exciting clubs and activities in their area to ensure they are steered away from crime. We are always looking for supporters and hope that whether you are a member of the public, run a club or volunteer at a community centre, you too can get involved.
"I hope this week of action amplifies our ongoing work to tackle knife crime and we will see further positive changes throughout the year."
Just stop and think about the damage you can cause to other people, their families, their friends, but stop and think of the impact for you, the impact on your family and your friends and make a different choice
Police say if you would like to report someone in possession of a knife, know whether they are being hidden or are simply concerned about your loved one, you can contact them @MerPolCC or via CrimeStoppers on 0800 555 111, or the Fearless campaign website: