This week, West Mercia Police is joining police forces up and down the country to support ‘Operation Sceptre’- a week long national campaign aimed at tackling knife crime.

Between April 2022 and March 2023, knife crime fell across Herefordshire, Shropshire and Worcestershire by 7%, compared to the previous year (2021/2022)* and while the level remains relatively low in comparison with other parts of the country officers are committed to doing everything they can to tackle serious violence and keep people safe.

Tacking place between Monday 15 May to the 21 May 2023, teams across the force will be carrying out a variety of policing activity including using metal detecting arches to identify people carrying knives, visiting schools to talk to students about the risks of carrying a knife and liaising with shops who sell knives to ensure they are challenging anyone who may look to be under the age of 25 and ensuring that any knives are being displayed in a safe, secure and appropriate manner.

The Offensive Weapons Act 2019 act has recently been updated to make it illegal to possess zombie and flick knives in private.

Superintendent Edward Hancox said: “We know the devastating impact knife crime can have on not just the victim but their families and the wider community. It can also be life changing for anyone who is caught carrying a knife, we know those who carry knives are just as likely to be a victim of knife crime.

“Throughout the year officers across our counties work tirelessly to raise awareness of the dangers of carrying a knife and take early intervention measures to prevent young people from getting involved in knife crime in the first place.

“Our award winning Steer Clear programme sees not just police but other agencies, such as paramedics and voluntary organisations, work together to offer support to young people, and their families, who are on the periphery of becoming involved in knife crime. We know that early intervention initiatives such as this are incredibly effective at diverting young people away from criminal behaviour.”

During the week members of the public are being encouraged to drop off unwanted knives and blades in dedicated knife surrender bins to ensure they are disposed of safely and do not get in the wrong hands.

Locations of the bins are as followed:

  • Telford- Malinsgate Police Station, TelfordTF3 4HW
  • Kidderminster- Habberley Road, Kidderminster, DY11 6AN
  • Redditch- Grove Street, Redditch, B98 8DD
  • Shrewsbury- Clive Road, Monkmoor, Shrewsbury, SY2 5RW
  • Hereford- Bath Street, Hereford HR1 2HT

*Between 2022/23 there were 1,209 offences involving a knife, 76 fewer than the previous year. This equates to 0.42 offences per 1,000 population.