Surrey Police sees positive week-long action against knife crime despite pandemic
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Operation Sceptre, the national week of action against knife crime, took place Monday 9 November to Sunday 15 November and was proactively supported by Surrey Police.
Surrey Police encouraged the public to recognise that carrying a knife does not provide protection; a weapon can be used inadvertently in the heat of the moment, or can be turned against the owner and have life-changing effects.
Earlier this year (August 14) a 16-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was given an eight month youth referral order after being caught on CCTV brandishing a large knife in Addlestone. The teenager admitted to one count of possession of a knife when he appeared in court on 14 October. The youth referral order means he must agree to a contract containing certain commitments he has to take on, either through intervention or activities, to address his offending behaviour.
Investigating officer, Sgt Rob Betts said: “This sentence sends out a message that even carrying a knife is unacceptable.
“We will continue to work in partnership with local authorities and schools who have dedicated advisors to provide support and guidance in relation to tackling knife crime."
To combat knife crime in Surrey, dedicated knife amnesty bins have been placed at Guildford, Reigate and Staines police station, all year round where Surrey residents can hand in any bladed weapons anonymously without fear of prosecution.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Op Sceptre was carried out slightly differently this year. Officers carried out high visibility patrols, weapon sweeps in Reigate, Woking and Guildford, along with targeted enforcement work with various partner agencies, including housing agencies, council enforcement teams and park patrols.
In Woking, Surrey Police successfully worked in partnership with Woking Football Club to display a video warning of the dangers of carrying knives, ahead of their live streamed match on Saturday (14 November).
To help educate young people about the dangers of carrying knives, Youth Engagement Officers (YEOs), gave virtual talks to schools, providing materials and advice, and encouraging young people to ‘Speak Up’ about concerns and advice for how schools can deal with incidents involving a young person found with a knife or weapon.
Commenting on the activities, Detective Superintendent Mark Chapman, who leads on tackling serious violence for the Force, said:
“The opportunity for amnesties and enforcement play an important part in preventing the carrying and use of knives in our county.
“We will continue to work with partners to tackle serious violence by thinking long term, working with our communities and continuously raising awareness of the dangers and consequences of carrying knives.”
If you know someone who is carrying a knife and worried someone will get hurt, you can tell us what you know by calling 101. If you’d prefer not to speak to Police, you can give information to the independent charity fearless.org 100% anonymously. You can fill out a form here and no-one will know you have sent this information as you don’t have to give your name or any personal details.
We encourage the public to drop off their dangerous or unwanted knives and blades at our police front counters across Surrey. These amnesty bins are in place all year round, and there will be no consequences if weapons are disposed of safely here:
If you or someone you know wants to take the next step and join the millions of people living knife free, help and support is available here. Parents, teachers and role models have a big influence on our young people and you can help them see the bigger picture, simply giving time and listening
If you are in danger or need immediate help, always call us on 999.