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Watch police in action as they take more than 300 knives off the streets

More than 300 knives have been taken off the street of Shropshire, Worcestershire and Herefordshire following a national clampdown on knife crime.

Knives handed in at Bishop's Castle Police station as part of Operation Sceptre

West Mercia Police said they have taken 340 knives off the streets across the three counties as part of Operation Sceptre.

The force took part in the national week of action to challenge and reduce the threat of knife crime across the West Mercia region from Monday November 13 to Sunday November 19.

During the week, officers deployed knife arches in prominent locations and carried out 49 weapon searches in areas where there was information to suggest weapons could have been discarded.

Watch as West Mercia Police take part in Operation Sceptre:

Knife surrender bins remained in place at police stations open to the public, which saw 340 weapons handed in, preventing them from getting into the wrong hands.

Working alongside partners, colleges and schools, officers made 44 diversion visits and delivered over 140 anti-knife sessions to help raise awareness of knife crime and the devastating impact carrying a knife can have.

The sessions covered the dangers and consequences of carrying knives and the laws around it, as well as advice on how to avoid becoming involved in knife crime and the diversionary pathways available to young people, including highlighting the Steer Clear programme.

West Mercia Police say retailers can play an important role in tackling knife crime, by ensuring that they do not sell knives to anyone under the age of 18.

A breakdown of the force's actions during Operation Sceptre

Throughout the week, officers made 108 visits to local retailers to engage with those working in the sector.

Superintendent Edward Hancox, head of prevention for West Mercia Police, said: “The success of Op Sceptre is a result of the continued work that we carry out in our communities, not only raising awareness about the dangers of knife crime through preventative activities, but also enforcing the law.

"Knife crime will not be tolerated by West Mercia Police and I hope the results from this week send that message.

“I want to make it clear that carrying a knife doesn’t make you safer. If you carry a knife it is more likely it will be used against you. It is also illegal and can result in a prison sentence. Our message is simple, carrying a knife puts yours and others' lives at risk.

“As always the public have a very important part to play in helping to keep knives off our streets. They can help us as extra eyes and ears in our fight against serious violence and knife crime. If you suspect someone is carrying a knife, by letting us know you could help save a life".

West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion added: “Removing knives from our streets is vital to reducing the harm felt in our communities.

“I am proud to play my part in breaking the cycle of knife crime by investing in the Steer Clear campaign which educates young people on the life altering impacts knives have in our society.

“The proactive efforts made by officers during Op Sceptre from enforcement to early intervention all contributes towards building a safer West Mercia.”

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