Suffolk results from knife crime week of action
Suffolk Constabulary made nine arrests as part of Operation Sceptre last week, the national week of action against knife crime.
The arrests were made in different parts of the county for possession of a knife offences and officers used intelligence-led deployments as part of the ongoing work with partners to tackle knife-based criminality, and associated gang activity.
As well as the arrests officers also conducted 53 visits to properties, some on more than one occasion, that were known to police to have links to County Lines, weapon offences and ‘cuckooing*’. No offences were apparent in these visits, although appropriate welfare and support was provided where necessary to some individuals
Other activity during the week included intelligence led stop & searches, high visibility patrols including at Ipswich and Bury St Edmunds train stations and three weapons sweeps in Ipswich parks. Schools Liaison Officers and Community Engagement Officers also supported schools delivering information on knife crime, County Lines and gangs to children and teachers in schools. This included assemblies and classroom talks with officers encouraging honest conversations around knife crime and to highlight to children the dangers of carrying knives, as well officers distributing literature and posters.
Over 3,400 knives and bladed items were also recovered from the knife surrender amnesty bins across the county where people can dispose knives and blades safely. Three knife bins are located in Ipswich (outside the Fire Station, Queen’s Way and Bramford Road) and at police stations in Lowestoft, Bury St Edmunds, Mildenhall, Sudbury and Haverhill and in Stowmarket at the junction of Stricklands Road and Ipswich Street. The high value of knives/bladed items in the bins is predominantly due to the fact of Covid19 and that they were not emptied in spring and it has been 12 months since they were last emptied.
Supt Kerry Cutler, the operational lead for Op Sceptre, said: "This was a really productive week for us in terms of addressing the national issue of knife crime. Despite the constraints of operating under COVID restrictions we continued to target those involved in County Lines, and carry out positive work with the community, residents and the engagement with schools. We were warmly received in schools and there were some really searching and intelligent questions from the children on the topic of knife crime and gangs.
"It’s important to point out that while this was a dedicated week of action, our work to tackle knife crime continues all year round. We will continue to highlight the dangers of carrying knives, and other weapons, and the devastating consequences this can have on the lives of young people. If you are found illegally in possession of a knife you will be arrested, put before the court and brought to justice.”
Police and Crime Commissioner TIm Passmore said: "Operation Sceptre gives the Constabulary an opportunity to raise awareness of knife crime and also give people an opportunity to deposit blades safely – I fully support this work. We need to do all we can through education, peer pressure, policing and sentencing to make it absolutely clear that it’s never acceptable for a person to carry a knife or weapon.
"I would implore all parents to talk to their children about the dangers of knife crime and encourage anyone who has a knife or any other weapon, to dispose of it responsibly and immediately. The knife bins are available all day – every day. Ultimately it is about making Suffolk as safe as possible.”
For more information and advice regarding Having The Conversation see http://www.suffolk.police.uk/advice/personal-safety/knife-crime/having-c...
Anyone with information on knife crime in their local community is asked to contact Suffolk Police on 101, or pass information to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. In an emergency, always dial 999.
For more information and advice about knife crime do look at our website -www.suffolk.police.uk/advice/personal-safety/knife-crime
*Vulnerable adults and young people are frequently used and in some cases drug dealers take over the property of a vulnerable person and use it as a place from which to run their drugs business.
Operation Sceptre is nationally co-ordinated activity that took place between 9 – 15 November.