From 16 -22 May, Warwickshire Police will amplify activities to take knives off streets and reduce the number of people involved in knife crime as part of the national intensification week, Operation Sceptre.
Officers will be involved in community engagement and educational initiatives as well as targeted operations including knife sweeps in the county’s greenspaces, targeted stop and searches and test purchases. Knife surrender bins will be in place at Nuneaton and Leamington Spa police stations and other community locations, allowing for anonymous disposal of unwanted knives and bladed items.
The intensification week will also be used to remind local businesses of the statutory expectations placed on them by law, to ensure that knives and bladed items are not sold or delivered to young people under the age of 18.
Further provisions of the Offensive Weapons act 2019, implemented 6 April 2022, place legal obligations on businesses involved in online or catalogue sales and subsequent delivery of bladed items, requiring them to:
- Verify the purchaser and person taking receipt of a bladed item is over 18.
- Label packaging to show contents and age restrictions applicable to the purchaser and receiver of the goods.
- Deliver in person, never to a locker or other automated ‘safe place’.
Superintendent Lee Kemp, Communities and Response, said “Operation Sceptre, is a national campaign which takes place twice a year, supporting the work Warwickshire Police carry out all year round to ensure residents are safe from knife crime in their community.
“We will be undertaking a range of activities in conjunction with partners, including targeted operations, community engagement, the provision of an anonymous knife disposal facility and education to reassure young people they are safer not carrying knives, and to walk away from harm.
“Everyone has their part to play in tackling knife crime. Retailers and couriers can make a big difference. We will be visiting businesses locally to talk about their responsibilities under the new laws to ensure bladed items are not sold or delivered to anyone under the age of 18.
“I would like to thank the public for their support and encourage people to continue to provide us with any information that assists the work that Warwickshire Police and partners undertake in tackling knife violence in our communities.”