Almost 300 knives taken off Staffordshire streets in just one week

Almost 300 knives have been handed in across Staffordshire in just one week.

Staffordshire Police took around 290 deadly weapons off the streets through Operation Sceptre, giving people an anonymous way of getting rid of weapons.

It saw 250 knives deposited into surrender bins at Cannock Police Station and other stations at Hanley, Longon, Burton-upon-Trent from May 16 until May 22.

Chief Inspector Robert Hessell, force lead for knife crime, said: “It’s vitally important that we continue to highlight and encourage conversations around knife crime within our communities.

“This operation was designed to challenge the stereotypes and stigma surrounding knife crime.

“It is usually the case that the majority of young people will never be affected by knife crime, but encouraging this awareness and providing a safe space for people to ditch their blades, we hope we have helped to continue to make our communities are safer place to be.”

Partners such as Chit Chat 4U assisted officers during a series of weapon sweeps, resulting in a total of 35 knives being recovered, eight arrests and a further six blades seized.

Trading Standards teams across the county also conducted test purchases across Staffordshire, with all 23 stores tested refusing to sell the knives to those underage.

Officers also visited a total of 14 schools to discuss the dangers of carrying a knife and encourage those at risk of knife crime to get help and support.

Operation Sceptre followed the arrival of the 27-foot Knife Angel in Smithfield, Stoke-on-Trent – composed of more than 100,000 knives surrendered throughout similar campaigns across the UK, with 1,800 of those knives surrendered by residents in Staffordshire.

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