Axe and cross­bow seized in po­lice op

On­go­ing work to tackle knife crime

Loughborough Echo - - NEWS - DAVID GODSALL david.godsall@reach­plc.com

AN AXE and a cross­bow were seized in Lough­bor­ough as part of a week­long op­er­a­tion by Le­ices­ter­shire Po­lice.

The force made 18 ar­rests and took more than 200 knives off the streets dur­ing the op­er­a­tion to tar­get those car­ry­ing weapons.

Op­er­a­tion Scep­tre, which started on Satur­day, Septem­ber 22, was part of na­tional ac­tiv­ity de­signed to de­ter and de­tect the car­ry­ing of knives. The in­tel­li­gence led op­er­a­tion re­sulted in 18 ar­rests, nine of which were di­rectly re­lated to knives.

Of­fi­cers also car­ried out 35 stop and searches which, along with ar­rests, re­cov­ered 11 knives while sur­ren­der bins at Lough­bor­ough, Mans­field House, Spin­ney Hill and Wigston po­lice sta­tions saw more than 220 knives handed in.

In ad­di­tion, an axe and cross­bow were re­cov­ered from an ad­dress in Lough­bor­ough as part of a war­rant which was ex­e­cuted. Of­fi­cers con­ducted knife sweeps across the city, re­cov­er­ing a knife from com­mu­nal grounds close to the train sta­tion and a ham­mer off park land next to Sturdee Road, in Eyres Mon­sell.

A knife arch at Le­ices­ter train sta­tion also saw hun­dreds of peo­ple pass through it in the course of just a few hours.

Test pur­chase op­er­a­tions at seven stores in Le­ices­ter took place with all busi­nesses suc­cess­fully pass­ing.

Of­fi­cers also went into Le­ices­ter Royal In­fir­mary, Glen­field and Gen­eral hos­pi­tals to high­light the conse- quences of knife crime on emer­gency ser­vices.

Sergeant Glen Ice­ton, knife crime co­or­di­na­tor for Le­ices­ter­shire Po­lice, helped lead the op­er­a­tion. He said: “Op­er­a­tion Scep­tre has led to some tan­gi­ble and im­pres­sive re­sults which will feed into our on­go­ing work to tackle knife crime and re­duce the num­ber of peo­ple car­ry­ing knives. Of­fi­cers suc­cess­fully re­cov­ered a num­ber of highly dan­ger­ous weapons through their hard work, mean­ing there are now less knives on our streets.

“It was par­tic­u­larly pleas­ing that no stores tested sold knives to un­der­age young­sters and re­quested to see rel­e­vant ID.”

Su­per­in­ten­dent Shane O’Neill, who leads the force’s re­sponse to knife crime, said: “Le­ices­ter­shire Po­lice will con­tinue to tar­get those who carry knives to pre­vent the im­pact upon those we live and work with.

“It is im­por­tant that any­one who is con­cerned about some­one car­ry­ing a knife knows that ad­vice is avail­able on our web­site and that there are trusted adults they can talk to. It is not ac­cept­able to carry a knife and through the force’s #LivesNotknives cam­paign this mes­sage con­tin­ues to reach across the coun­ties to en­cour­age dis­cus­sion and pre­vent peo­ple be­com­ing in­volved in crim­i­nal­ity.”

Po­lice and Crime Com­mis­sioner, Lord Willy Bach added: “This has clearly been a hugely suc­cess­ful op­er­a­tion - ev­ery knife off the street is one less weapon that could be used to in­jure or kill some­one.

“I hope it sends a clear mes­sage that knife crime will not be tol­er­ated in Le­ices­ter, Le­ices­ter­shire and Rut­land.”

Some of the items re­cov­ered as part of Le­ices­ter­shire Po­lice’s Op­er­a­tion Scep­tre.

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