Lincolnshire Police is cracking down on illegal possession of knives as part of Operation Sceptre, a national week of action that runs from March 11-17
With high profile stabbings of young people in the last week in London and Manchester raising questions in the House of Commons and a push for police forces to combat the issue, the aim of the week is to increase awareness about the dangers of carrying knives and how the police are working to keep them off the streets.
Nationally, there were just under 40,000 incidents involving knives last year and 89 per cent were either robberies or violent assaults.
Lincolnshire is one of the safest places in the country in relation to knife crime insists the force. The county recorded 33 knife or sharp instrument related incidents per 100,000 population in the year up to September 2018, compared with the national average of 73.
During the week, officers will be particularly in Lincoln, Grantham and Boston speaking with local residents.
Chief Inspector Steve Williamson says: “Carrying knives changes lives. If someone chooses to carry a knife, a minor issue can quickly escalate into something much more serious, have fatal consequences and ruin lives.
“Although Lincolnshire experiences much less knife crime than the country’s larger cities, we still do everything within our power to tackle knife crime as the impact on communities can be devastating.
“This is about getting knives off our streets and keeping communities safe – if you suspect someone is carrying a weapon please report it straight away.”
Police and Crime Commissioner Marc Jones says: “In 2018 we saw an increase of 21 per cent where someone had been found in possession of a knife or a blade."
A total of 212 crimes were recorded in 2018 in relation to possession of knives or sharp instruments – an increase of 21 per cent on 2017’s figure of 175.
He added: “This is in large part because of the proactive focus of Lincolnshire Police in detecting people who choose to carry weapons. In the future they’ll be further improving the way they target frequent offenders too, enabling the frontline to use their powers to search them at every opportunity.
“Maintaining a grip on removing weapons from our streets is vital to ensuring Lincolnshire remains as one of the safety places to live and should be applauded."
Lincolnshire Police say they are dedicated to increasing stop searches where they can in order to identify and deter those who carry knives.