Council and litter picking groups help police search for knives in Lichfield

Litter pickers have been enlisted in the fight against knife crime in Lichfield and Burntwood.

Cllr Angela Lax and PCSO Andrew Lovatt with Lichfield litter pickers
Cllr Angela Lax and PCSO Andrew Lovatt with Lichfield litter pickers

As part of the nationwide Operation Spectre, Lichfield District Community Safety Partnership is working with Staffordshire Police to take dangerous knives off the streets.

Officers are searching a number of locations across the district for discarded knives using a metal detector bought by the Community Safety Partnership.

Lichfield District Council’s community safety and park teams along with staff from housing provider Bromford will join the police in searching hedgerows, shrubberies and other locations where knives may have been left.

Lichfield Litter Legends and Burntwood Litter Heroes will also be on hand to help remove any litter found along the way.

The knife and weapon sweeps will take place at a number of Lichfield and Burntwood parks as well as some residential areas across the district.

Sergeant Edward Ford, of Lichfield Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: "I really welcome the support from all the partner agencies. Overall knife crime in Lichfield District is low and we are committed to making sure it stays that way.

"Although we don’t have any specific information or intelligence about a particular area we’re searching, we know that in the past weapons, including knives, have been hidden in public areas with the intention to retrieve them at a later date."

He added: "This is why we’ve got a policing operation order for this week of intensification and are targeting a number of known sites to help keep our district safer.”

Councillor Angela Lax, Lichfield District Council’s cabinet member for regulatory, housing and health, added: "Partnership work is really important as park staff and housing teams are the eyes and ears out in the community. We are really pleased to be working with the police on Operation Sceptre as we all want a safer district that is free of illegal weapons."

Staffordshire Police is also promoting the #DitchTheBlade campaign, which sets out the importance of everyone working together to tackle knife crime.

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