Police step up knife crime prevention in Weston

A week of action will take place in Weston. Picture: Avon and Somerset Constabulary

A week of action will take place in Weston. Picture: Avon and Somerset Constabulary - Credit: Archant

Police have intensified their efforts to tackle knife crime in Weston-super-Mare this week after a number of teenagers were stabbed to death across the country.

Knife crime has increased across Avon and Somerset by 52 per cent in the space of a year.

Police are now increasing their efforts to combat the issue in the town by installing a new knife surrender bin at the town hall in Walliscote Grove Road.

Officers are taking part in a week of action aimed at reducing the number of knives on the streets and educating young people about the dangers of carrying a bladed weapon.

From April 2017-18, there were 1,835 incidents of people carrying or using a knife, compared with 1,201 incidents in the previous 12-month cycle – an increase of 634 crimes.

There were 538 knife-related crimes which resulted in an injury from January to December last year, which equates to seven per cent of total knife-related crime reported.

Police and Crime Commissioner, Sue Mountstevens, said: “Knives do not keep you safe, young people need to be aware by carrying a knife, you are putting yourself in much greater danger and are more likely to become involved in a violent situation.

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“I fully support the Constabulary’s involvement with Operation Sceptre, we need to do everything we can through education, police enforcement and sentencing to make it absolutely clear it is never acceptable for a person to carry a knife or a weapon.

“The week of action means the police can really focus on taking these knives off the street so they cannot be used to do serious harm, as well as to educate our young people about the dangers of knife crime.”

The Constabulary has been taking part in Operation Sceptre since 2016, an initiative led by the Metropolitan Police which sees police forces around the country focus their efforts in a co-ordinated way.

This year’s operation began on Saturday and will end on Sunday, during which time officers will incorporate several tactics, including education of both young people and retailers, targeted patrols of hot spot areas, weapons sweeps and knife surrender bins

Since the police started taking part in the operation in October 2016, more than 1,700 knives have been surrendered to bins across the force area.

Police have visited retailers to provide education and guidance around selling knives to young people.

This coming Friday and Saturday nights, officers will be working with licensed premises in Weston, speaking to customers about the risks of carrying knives, and supporting door staff during entry searches for any people found with a knife