Arrests and knives seized during week of action to tackle knife crime
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Officers at a knife arch operation at Brighton railway station
Police made 14 arrests and seized a number of weapons during a week of action to combat knife crime in Sussex.
Officers from Sussex Police joined forces across the country to support Operation Sceptre – a national week of education, engagement, and enforcement around knife crime between November 13 and 19.
The intensive week of action saw 19 knives seized across Sussex through arrests, knife sweeps, stop searches and search warrants. Another 1,352 knives were surrendered by members of the public in 15 amnesty bins.
Thousands of people were also spoken to about the dangers of carrying a knife, including young people at schools and youth centres.
And a bleed control kit was installed in Hastings town centre on November 15, on the wall of Lloyds Bank in Wellington Place, funded by the Safer Hastings Partnership. The kits are designed to prevent catastrophic blood loss while waiting for an ambulance.
A bleed control kit, funded by the Safer Hastings Partnership, was installed in the town centre
The force’s activity complements its year-round work to combat knife crime and serious violence, known as Operation Safety, which has a primary focus on reducing knife crime committed in public spaces against young people.
The latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) data shows 57 recorded knife offences per 100,000 population in the year ending March 2023, while the national average stands at 89 per 100,000 based on the 39 forces who use this recording method.
Chief Inspector Simon Yates, force lead for knife crime and serious violence
Chief Inspector Simon Yates, the force lead for knife crime and serious violence, said: “As police officers, we see the devastating consequences of these deadly weapons, particularly in young people, and we must do everything we can to educate people and prevent access to knives that are used for violence, intimidation and harm.
“We work relentlessly all year round to stamp out knife crime in our communities and Op Sceptre is a great opportunity to showcase that work.
“Tackling an issue as complex as knife crime also requires teamwork and we work with various partners to understand the motivations behind carrying a knife and its associated crime.
“I would like to thank members of the public for their engagement during the week and for supporting our efforts to ensure that knife crime in Sussex remains below the national average and that Sussex remains a safe place to live and work.”
The knife arch operation at Brighton railway station
Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne said: “With these having been removed from our county’s streets through various proactive methods including the use of amnesty bins, it’s clear that this week of intensification was much needed.
“Sussex Police continues to work hard to keep the streets of Sussex safe, tackling knife crime by focusing on early intervention and prevention and targeting those who are most vulnerable and at risk of being drawn into dangerous crime.”
The bleed control kit installation event in Hastings town centre
Here are some of the local results from Operation Sceptre:
Brighton and Hove • Fifty-four knives seized by officers or voluntarily surrendered in amnesty bins. • Knife crime educational visits to taxi ranks within city centre, in partnership with BHCC Taxi enforcement officer, 50 drivers engaged with. • Knife crime educational visits to hotels and hostels in the city centre. • Licensing visits with Trading Standards and BHCC licensing officers at business premises in the city. • Licensing visits to public houses in the city centre delivering knife crime prevention and leaflets to licensees and staff members. • Visits to small hotels and B&B’s delivering knife prevention – 12 premises visited, 52 persons engaged with. • Visits to numerous schools and Brighton University. • Visit to Beavers club in Woodingdean. • Sixty-seven retail visits in the city centre. • Leaflets given out during High Harm Spot street briefings. • Knife arch operation at Brighton railway station, working alongside BTP. More than 800 members of the public engaged during the course of the evening.
East Sussex • 382 knives seized by officers or voluntarily surrendered. • Six amnesty bins placed across the division. • Visits to Hailsham Youth Café, Heathfield Funky Teens Centre and Peacehaven Youth Centre, • Engagement hub used for street briefings. • Knife crime educational visit to taxi rank in Eastbourne town centre. • Knife arch operation at St Leonards railway station, working alongside BTP. • Engagement van used in Newhaven. • Visits to numerous schools and VR headsets completed on selected pupils. • Installation of bleed kit in Hastings town centre.
West Sussex • Seven knives seized through arrests, knife sweeps, stop searches and search warrants. • Seven amnesty bins placed across the division. • Seven knife education lessons delivered to 691 young people in secondary schools and cadet units. • Four in person visits with each receiving a community resolution. • Engagement van out covering a different area of West Sussex each day.
To find out more about the dedicated work tackling serious violence and knife crime in Sussex, visit our web page here. Young people can receive and report information around knife crime anonymously via Fearless.org.
You can also talk to someone anonymously by contacting the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. Contact the police online or by calling 101 – always dial 999 in an emergency.