Officers recover more than 90 knives during week-long crackdown
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Ongoing efforts to tackle knife crime have resulted in more than 90 knives being recovered within one week.
Between Monday 14 and Sunday 20 November 2022, Kent Police supported the national campaign Operation Sceptre with a range of enforcement and crime prevention activity.
Over the week a total of 92 knives were recovered from throughout the county. This included 61 knives which were put into 10 ‘surrender bins’.
More than 140 stop searches were completed and 36 people were arrested for various offences, including possession of knives and drugs. During these arrests officers seized 27 knives.
A total of 19 weapon sweeps were carried out across parks and open spaces which resulted in four knives being recovered, including a meat cleaver in Boundary Park in Ramsgate. The weapon had been hidden among trees and was slightly buried but was found after an officer used a metal detector to search the area.
As part of the week police from Medway’s Community Policing Team carried out various initiatives including working with officers from British Transport Police (BTP).
Along with police dogs, BTP officers assisted patrols with enforcement at railway stations to target people travelling into the county carrying weapons and drugs.
On Wednesday 16 November they spent the evening at Chatham railway station. While here the team stopped 22 people where they were searched.
One 16-year-old boy was arrested after being found in possession of a knife and several bags of cannabis. He was later charged with knife and drugs offences and was remanded in custody on unconnected matters.
A second man who was also stopped, was found with 44 bags of cannabis, one bag of ketamine, scales and clear ‘deal’ bags. He was arrested and later released under investigation.
On Thursday 17 November officers targeted Gillingham railway station where they stopped and searched 33 people which resulted in cannabis being seized from nine people. This included one two-ounce bag of cannabis with a street value of around £400. The man’s details were taken, and he is due to be charged by post.
Across the county officers also stopped and spoke to various young people to ensure they felt safe and understood the dangers around knife crime. They also spoke to them about the risks of being involved in gang activity and the potential dangers it poses for them.
Businesses were also reminded about their responsibilities around the sales of knives and the ‘challenge 25’ policy.
Detective Chief Inspector Matthew Talboys of Kent Police said: ‘Our focus on tackling knife crime never stops but with initiatives like Operation Sceptre it allows our officers to highlight the good work they do on a daily basis and to carry out a number of specific operations over the course of the week to ensure we remove as many weapons from our streets as possible.
‘Knife crime can have a devastating impact on families and communities and our officers are relentless in their efforts to target those criminals who bring violence to parts of Kent and think nothing of carrying weapons.’
If you have concerns about someone you know who may be carrying a knife, or is involved in knife crime, report it online here. You can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 or by using the online form on their website here.