|Operation Sceptre, the national week of action against knife crime, took place between Tuesday and Monday, September 18 to 24 and was proactively supported by Suffolk Constabulary.
The operation highlights the risks that carrying a bladed weapon can bring, as well as targeting offenders who use and carry knives.
Officers carried out weapons sweeps in Alexandra Park and in public areas in the vicinity of Goals in Ipswich.
During the week of action three people were arrested on suspicion of possession of a knife.
Amnesty blade bins across Suffolk were emptied with the following results:
Ipswich – Princes Street; 560 bladed items
Ipswich – Queen’s Way; 197 bladed items
Ipswich – Bramford Road; 62 bladed items
Lowestoft; 724 bladed items
Bury St Edmunds; 403 bladed items
Sudbury; 131 bladed items
Mildenhall; 18 bladed items
Haverhill; 20 bladed items
Two new knife amnesty bins have been installed over the summer in Queen’s Way and Bramford Road in Ipswich. In addition there is also a knife bin outside Ipswich Fire Station and at police stations in Lowestoft, Bury St Edmunds, Mildenhall, Sudbury and Haverhill.
The bins were last emptied in January 2018. Since the Bin a Blade campaign was launched in Suffolk in 2011, 21,982 bladed items have been deposited and destroyed.
Superintendent Kerry Cutler, said: “Operation Sceptre allows police forces across the country to remind people of the dangers of carrying a knife and also the potential consequences people face. Knife crime has devastating effects on victims, families and communities.
“We must break this cycle of violence and address the perception of young people who say they need to carry a knife to protect themselves.
“Let me be clear – knives have no place on our streets. You may think carrying a knife will ensure your safety and give you protection, but in reality if you carry a knife there is a greater risk it will be used, either by you or on you. If you carry a knife you could use it in heat of the moment and seriously injure or kill someone, or it could be used on you.
“This is a key message which we emphasis in our awareness-raising work with children and young people across Suffolk. I would also encourage parents and carers to consider having the conversation with their children, setting out the facts.”
Suffolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore said: “Operation Sceptre gives the Constabulary an opportunity to raise awareness of knife crime and also give people an opportunity to deposit blades safely – I fully support this work.
“If there is a message that is very pertinent in Suffolk right now, it is please #StopKnifeCrime.
“We need to do all we can through education, peer pressure, policing and sentencing to make it absolutely clear that it’s never acceptable for a person to carry a knife or weapon. I find it really disappointing that anyone carries a blade of any kind. I would implore all parents to talk to their children about the dangers of knife crime. This growing trend has got to stop, carrying a knife just doesn’t make you safe, it can lead to dreadful consequences.
“I would encourage anyone who has a knife or any other weapon to dispose of them responsibly and immediately – the knife bins are available all day – every day. Ultimately it is about making Suffolk as safe as possible.”
Anyone with information on knife crime in their local community is asked to contact Suffolk Police on 101, or pass information to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. In an emergency, always dial 999.
For more information and advice about knife crime do look at our website –www.suffolk.police.uk/advice/personal-safety/knife-crime