Sussex Police warn of 'catastrophic consequences' in Brighton knife crackdown

Report by ITV News Meridian's Andy Dickenson

Police in Brighton have launched their latest crackdown on knife crime in the city, warning young people that the consequences of carrying a weapon are "catastrophic."

Officers installed knife arches at Brighton railway station, checking passengers for offensive weapons as they arrived in the city.

Sussex Police is carrying out this latest round of anti-knife initiatives following a rise in the number of knife related offences since lockdown began to ease in May.

Its follows a national campaign in April this year, where police forces across the UK deployed knife arches, sniffer dogs in busy areas and encouraged the public to hand in weapons.

This latest drive also includes test purchases, where shops are randomly checked to see if they will sell knives to under 18s - three shops in Crawley were caught selling earlier this week.

Senior police officers have previously expressed concern that violence may rise over the summer months as it did last year when lockdown measures were eased.

The surge in 2020 was put down partly to feuds being played out on social media during coronavirus restrictions, and then spilling out on to the streets.

Chief Inspector Simon Yates from Sussex Police told ITV Meridian that the force's message to young people "is clear."

"Statistics will tell us that a lot of children and young people will carry knives for their own protection," he said.

"Firstly you're more likely to come to harm by carrying a knife, and then of course the consequences are catastrophic, not only for you, but for your family and future life."