Police search after alarming intelligence that Wednesbury students are 'hiding weapons' near school

Police have acted on alarming intelligence that pupils at a Sandwell school have been hiding weapons near school grounds, and have seized a suspicious item in a search of the area.

Police officers recovered an item after performing a knife sweep near a Wednesbury school
Police officers recovered an item after performing a knife sweep near a Wednesbury school

Wednesbury Town Police posted on Twitter that their officers had conducted a knife sweep near a local school after gathering this intelligence and had "recovered an item" during the search.

The knife search comes as part of Operation Sceptre, a national campaign which works to ensure residents are safe from knife crime in their community.

Knife sweeps have also been conducted this week in Oldbury's Tividale and Broadwell parks, the Dell Stadium in Brierley Hill, Wall Heath Park in Brierley Hill, alongside other areas of the Black Country.

It has been a devastating year of knife crime for the Black Country, which has seen the deaths of two teenage boys in Wolverhampton: Zane Smart, 15, and Ronan Kanda, 16.

Victim – Zane Smart, aged 15
Victim – Ronan Kanda, aged 16

Figures released in August also show that the number of children involved in knife crime in the West Midlands has almost tripled in the last five years.

379 young people under the age of 18 were recorded by West Midlands Police as having committed offences relating to knife crime or possession last year. This is up from 131 in 2017.

The figures also show overall knife crime offences recorded in the region increased from 1,473 in 2017 to 2,775 in 2021.

West Midlands Assistant Police and Crime Commissioner, Tom McNeil, said knife crime had doubled since 2012, and claims it has been exacerbated by government cuts to policing and other services.

He said: “On the face of it this is a stark and worrying rise, but goes to show the huge amount of work being undertaken by West Midlands Police to take knives off our streets.

“These figures demonstrate successful police activity in targeting knife crime and ensuring streets in the region are as safe as possible.

“However, there has been a rise in knife crime, with numbers doubling since 2012 and this has been exacerbated by government cuts to policing, early intervention, work in schools and youth services.

“Some of the organised crime elements behind young people being pulled into violent offending, have also been made worse by government cuts to addiction services, meaning the demand for drugs continues.”

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