Public areas in Northamptonshire to be searched for ‘hidden knives’ as part of new police campaign

Superintendent Mick Stamper, head of Northampton Operational Command Unit, at Northants Police with some of the knives collected during a recent knife amnesty.
Superintendent Mick Stamper, head of Northampton Operational Command Unit, at Northants Police with some of the knives collected during a recent knife amnesty.
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Police will carry out ‘weapon sweeps’ in public places in Northamptonshire where offenders are believed to hide them as part of a campaign to tackle knife crime in the county.

The initiative, launched this week, is timed to coincide with a number of operations taking place across the country.

The Met launched Operation Sceptre last year and other forces are replicating it and employing the same tactics.

The campaign was introduced in London last July to coincide with new legislation that means those convicted of carrying a knife for the second time will face a mandatory custodial sentence.

Operation Sceptre seeks to target those who carry and use knives and people who supply, access and import weapons.

A Northamptonshire Police spokesman said some of the methods which will be used include visiting convicted knife crime offenders in their home to warn them of the new legislation.

Those known to carry knives are being targeted and there will be operations run at some locations that include the deployment of a knife arch and amnesty bins.

Specialist officers will be conducting high visibility patrols in places where intelligence suggests people may be carrying or using knives illegally.

‘Weapon sweeps’ will be conducted on estates and in public places where those who carry knives are believed to hide them and retrieve them for use later on.

Police activity will also include arrest enquiries in connection with knife related offences and violent crime.

Test purchase operations will be undertaken with retailers to ensure knives are not being sold to those under the age of 18.

Superintendent Chris Hillery, Local Policing Commander, said: “This operation supports Operation Scorpion and is aimed at reducing knife-related violence in our county.

“It will be intelligence-led and we will employ targeted use of police powers in hot spot areas where we know people are carrying knives.

“Northamptonshire does not have high levels of knife crime but one life lost is one too many and the impact for the family involved is devastating.

“We are committed to doing all we can to reduce violent crime and take more knives and weapons off our streets.”