221 bladed items have been removed from the streets of North Yorkshire thanks to Operation Sceptre, the national week of action aimed at reducing knife crime.
Although levels of knife crime are low in our county taking part in the campaign, which ran from Monday, 17 September until Sunday, 23 September, helped keep North Yorkshire one of the safest counties in England.
The weapons which surrendered at bins located in police stations around the county included hunting knives and swords. All these bladed items could have been potential weapons if they had got into the wrong hands – there is no risk of that now as they will all be destroyed appropriately.
As part of the campaign, schools, colleges and universities were provided with materials and advice to help educate young people about the dangers of carrying knives.
Working with North Yorkshire County Council, Police Cadets aged 16-years-old carried out test purchases for knives from retailers both in person and online retailers based in North Yorkshire. Out of 11 who were tested only two passed and refused to sell knives or bladed articles to the cadets. Written warnings have been sent to those who failed and they will be monitored.
Sergeant Neil Northend who helped co-ordinate the week of action, said: “Even though levels of knife crime in North Yorkshire are low we must not be complacent and we work hard to take these weapons off our streets.
“Through our collection bins we have had 221 weapons, in varying forms, handed in from standard kitchen knives, to hunting knives and swords.”
Anyone who has information on knife crime in their local community should contact North Yorkshire Police on 101. Alternatively information can be passed anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. In an emergency, always call 999.