Lancashire Police – Operation Sceptre begins in attempt to tackle knife crime

Police have launched the nationwide Operation Sceptre with a number of different methods to curb knife crime.

Starting today, it focuses on measures such as additional patrols, targeting repeat offenders, amnesty bins and raising awareness with young people

Between April 2022 and March 2023 there were 79 homicides in the Northwest, second out of all regions in the UK. In almost half of all homicides, knives were involved.

The Ministry of Justice figures show that out of all those found guilty of knife and offensive weapon offences in Lancashire in the year ending March 2023, for three out of four it was their first knife offence.

Of these, only one out of four were jailed immediately. Down from a third the year before.

Chief Inspector Dave Oldfield said: “Intensification weeks such as Operation Sceptre provide an opportunity not just for increased police activity to tackle criminality, but also to focus on preventative measures through education. 

“We have seen some great results come out of our previous Operation Sceptre weeks, with over 1,300 knives being recovered from surrender bins in Lancashire in November 2022.”

In the May operation of this year, 1,105 weapons were taken off the streets.

The Knife Angel arrived outside Blackburn Cathedral as part of the nation-wide tour at the start of November for a month.

Knife Angel in Deansgate, Manchester. Photo credit: David Dixon.

Made up of over 100,000 seized or surrendered knives, the statue highlights the “negative impact this type of violent crime can have on individuals, families and communities and the critical need for society to change.