Tackling Knife Crime
While knife crime remains low in Surrey, in comparison to other parts of the country – we are committed to doing everything we can to tackle serious violence by working hard closely with our partner agencies and other organisations to ensure Surrey is a county that is safe, and feels safe.
Operation Sceptre, is a national campaign which takes place twice a year, supporting the work Surrey Police carry out all year round to ensure residents are safe from knife crime in their community.
Our officers undertake a range of activities including targeted operations, engagement and education to reassure young people they are safer not carrying knives, and to walk away from harm.
Our message to those who carry a knife, or are thinking of carrying one, is 'See The Bigger Picture' carrying a knife does not protect you. It only adds to your vulnerability, placing you in dangerous situations, and serious harm, not to mention the legal consequences of being found in possession of one. Knives destroy lives, altogether affecting you, and the people you treasure most around you.
We have invested in a number of measures to help tackle knife crime. These include dedicated units, part of the wider proactive and intelligence-led activity in response to the needs of communities across Surrey – some of which you may see, but much of which is carried out by specialist covert teams.
Enforcement alone will not tackle the root causes of why people become involved in violent crimes and knife crime. Across our county, we collaborate with partners including councils, schools, colleges, youth agencies, businesses such as clubs and bars, the British Transport Police, Crimestoppers, and the Trading Standards to help keep our communities safe.
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.
You can find the locations of the amnesty bins below:
- Staines Police Station, 22 Kingston Road, TW18 4LQ
- Guildford Police Station, Margaret Road, GU4 1QS
- Reigate Police Station, 79 Reigate Road, RH2 0RY
Anyone who is worried about someone or is looking for support themselves can visit knifefree.co.uk for advice.
If you feel threatened, unsafe or scared about becoming a victim of knife crime consider:
- You are more likely to come to harm if you carry a knife
- Walking away from threats of violence
- Passing anonymous information to Fearless
- Talk to Childline for help on 0800 11 11 or go online at childline.org.uk
- Contact Crimestoppers, anonymously on 0800 555 111 or visit crimestoppers-uk.org
- Calling 101 to speak with your local Prevention Team for advice. In an emergency always call 999.
Some young people carry a knife because they are worried about becoming a victim of knife crime. Unfortunately, carrying a knife only increases their chance of becoming hurt.
The easiest and most common place for young people to get a knife is from the family home. If you think something isn’t quite right then consider other less obvious warning signs, including:
- They have become withdrawn
- Their school or college is reporting worrying changes in their behaviour, or their grades have suddenly dropped
- They have lost interest in hobbies and are vague about their movements
- They have changed their group of friends, perhaps to an older network
- Suddenly secretive about their belongings
There are other reasons why young people exhibit these behaviours. It might not be knife related but if you spot any of the above, talk to them now. Discuss their views on knife crime, and whether they would ever consider carrying a knife. Discover if they feel safe when they go out, and if not, why not?
Find the ideal time and location to talk to them about knife crime. Provide them with reassurance, and be patient. Remind them they do have choices, and that you are there to support them, always. Try to cover:
- the dangers – carrying a knife makes your more likely to get harmed.
- the facts – the police can stop and search anyone they suspect to be carrying a knife.
- the law – it is illegal to try and buy a knife under the age of 18, and the maximum penalty for carrying a knife is 4 years in prison and an unlimited fine. An automatic prison sentence is handed to anyone convicted twice of carrying a knife.
- the consequences – a criminal record can change your life – you may not be offered a college or university place. Getting a job will be made more difficult and it can even disrupt travel to some countries.
The safest thing to do if threatened by a knife is to walk away.
For further advice and information, visit Knifefree.co.uk
If you have any information which could help, please direct message us or report online using webchat or our webform on our website, calling us on 101 and in an emergency, always call 999. If you do not wish to leave your name, please call the independent charity Crimestoppers 0800 555 111.