Merseyside Police step up action on knife crime on the anniversary of Ava White's death

Superintendent Phil Mullally from Merseyside Police is urging people to hand in any weapons

Merseyside Police are taking part in a National week of action to deter those involved in knife crime.#OpSceptre is an operation to proactively target people carrying weapons, reduce offences, raise awareness of the dangers of knife crime and provide young people with more positive alternatives to crime.

The week-long national campaign coincides with the one-year anniversary of the death of Ava White. The 12 year old died after she was stabbed on School Lane by a 14 year old boy in the city centre on Thursday 25 November.

Ava White

Superintendent Phil Mullally said:

“Our thoughts and condolences go out to Ava White’s family one year on from this devastating crime that impacted so many across our communities in Merseyside. Our officers are absolutely determined to make further changes for the better to ensure the safety of all those living in and visiting Liverpool.“That is why 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, from local schools, youth clubs, retailers, probation, charities and the medical profession to share intelligence and ideas.

“Tackling knife crime is not something we do during this one week of awareness it is a priority all year round for our police force and others up and down the country. We use this national campaign to really put a spotlight on criminals, take weapons off the streets and protect our communities.

Merseyside Police are also running a knife and weapons surrender so that anyone carrying an offensive weapon including all types of knives, blades and swords can dispose of it safely.“Handing in these weapons means they can no longer be used on our streets as a form of violence and aggression, making Merseyside a safer place to live and visit.”Detective Superintendent Siobhan Gainer, Head of the Merseyside Violence Reduction Partnership said

"We believe that a sustainable, public health approach is needed to reduce any and all forms of serious violence."That means intervening positively in lives from the womb to young adulthood, challenging negative beliefs such as misogyny and offering young people positive activities and mentoring."