County force joins campaign to tackle knife crime

Police launch knife crime campaign
Police launch knife crime campaign

Lincolnshire Police has joined a national campaign to tackle knife crime across the country.

Operation Sceptre was launched on Monday in a bid to tackle growing concern about the issue.

Nationally, incidents involving knives or sharp instruments have risen 8% year on year, with the national average number of incidents per 100,000 of population being 80.

In Lincolnshire, the average number of incidents per 100,000 stands at 35, which although lower than the national average, still represents a 15% increase.

County wide, incidents are mainly either assaults to cause injury or serious harm (53%) or robberies (27%).

Possession offences in the force area are up from 183 to 263 incidents – a 44% increase.

Lincolnshire Police say officers carried out 62% more stop searches for knives or bladed articles – from 110 searches to 178.

Detective Chief Inspector Amy Whiffen, force lead for knife crime, said: “Lincolnshire is a really safe place to live and the vast majority of residents are highly unlikely to experience knife crime.

“That being said, we are attending more knife-related incidents and recovering more knives from our proactive stop-searches.

“People carry knives either for their own protection, to try and gain respect, out of pure anger or because they are intent on committing crime.

“Whatever the reason, carrying a knife means even the smallest situation can escalate into something much more serious or life-changing. Knife crime has devastating and lasting damage, not just to the victim and their families, but also to whole communities.

“Through the Stay Safe Partnership and the Future 4 Me initiative we are focusing on educating our county’s young people. We also have the Joint Diversionary Panel which can intervene when young people have become involved in knife crime.

“It is all of our responsibility to keep knives and blades out of the wrong hands. If you have any unwanted household kitchen knives, please take them to your local Household Waste Recycling Centre on your next trip so they can be disposed of safely.”

Police and Crime Commissioner, Marc Jones, says: “It is true that the incidents of knife crime in Lincolnshire are lower than other parts of the country but the numbers are on the rise, both here and in the UK, and that is deeply concerning.

“A significant number of knife crimes end up with terrible consequences and we must do everything we can to educate people about the dangers of carrying knives.

“Many of the knife crimes that occur in our county are in relation to domestic incidents and I have launched projects to address this issue.

“I have every confidence that the force’s campaign will also make a positive impact in combatting knife crime.”