Op Sceptre: Sussex Police engages in a second week of action around knife crime
Main article content
Engaging with the public, speaking to almost 2,000 schoolchildren and a visit from the policing and crime minister was some of the activity taking place during Op Sceptre in Sussex.
Op Sceptre is a national intensification week which takes place twice a year to highlight the dangers of knife crime and bolsters the continuing work undertaken by the force under the name Op Safety.
Starting on Monday, November 14, members of the force visited 18 educational establishments across Sussex, speaking with almost 2,000 young people about the dangers of carrying a knife.
The interaction with the public didn’t end there, as members of the force held seven on-street engagement events using an engagement van, taxi rank briefings and street briefings.
There were also 158 bladed articles surrendered throughout the week, as well as 23 knives recovered through search warrants, direct arrests and weapon sweeps.
This was also supported by intelligence-led knife sweeps, high-visibility engagement, and 88 stop searches resulting in 26 arrests under all powers.
To stop knives getting into the hands of teenagers the force also conducted 39 test purchases; 36 passed, while three failed.
Minster for Policing, Crime and Fire Chris Philp MP visited Brighton on Wednesday, November 16, alongside Sussex Police Chief Constable Jo Shiner, the force leads for serious violence and knife crime Chief Inspector Simon Yates and Sergeant Liz Reschwamm, and Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne.
Sussex does remain a safe place to live.
The latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) data shows Sussex recorded 57 knife offences per 100,000 population in the year ending June 2022, which is lower than the national average of 84 per 100,000 based on the 37 forces who use this methodology.
Figures show since 2019 knife crime has dropped by 50% in the 15 hotspot areas across the county. Each hotspot covers an area of approximately 150m² where serious violence is most concentrated.
Chief Inspector Simon Yates said: “It’s important to emphasise that Sussex is a safe place to live.
“Although this work is being highlighted as part of Op Sceptre, be assured this activity takes place in the background while the light is not shone on it. The concentrated work in hotspot areas is driving knife crime off our streets.
“A thank you goes out to the hard-working officers and volunteers who are carrying out this activity within our communities.
“There will continue to be amnesty bins across the county for people who want us to destroy their bladed weapon.”
To find out more about the dedicated work tackling serious and knife crime in Sussex, head to the Op Safety page.