Appeal for help over knife crime as Operation Sceptre kicks off

Suffolk Constabulary is asking for the public’s help this week to support them as they take part in Operation Sceptre, the national week of action against knife crime.

Officers from across Suffolk will use intelligence-led deployments as part of ongoing work with partners to tackle knife-based criminality, and associated gang activity.

Schools’ liaison officers and community engagement officers will be working with young people and continuing work with partners in delivering information into schools across Suffolk on knife crime, County Lines and gangs during the week of action.

Much of the support can also take place in the home by having conversations – whether it’s talking to someone in their family about the dangers of carrying a knife or by telling police about anyone believed to be carrying a knife.

Inspector Matt Paisley said: “Talking in the family setting about knife crime can often be overlooked, but it has never been more important to educate your family and friends on understanding the risks, and supporting each other to encourage honest conversation about knife crime. Young people particularly should be listened to and encouraged to think about their decisions and behaviour. Talking and listening is critical to finding a solution to the issue we have seen nationally around knife crime.

“Whilst the majority of young people do not carry knives, it is possible that children are in contact with friends who do so without parents/carers knowing. Often children will have talked about knives with friends or heard stories about those that carry them, and now that we have more freedom as lockdown restrictions ease, we must not ignore the fact that exposure to knives, or conversations and culture around knives may be more prevalent.

“There is plenty of useful information available on our website as well as advice for young people about gang/county lines culture and how to leave a gang. I urge parents and teenagers to take time to look at the pages.”

For more information and advice regarding Having The Conversation see http://www.suffolk.police.uk/advice/personal-safety/knife-crime/having-conversation

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.

Knife amnesty bins across the county give people the opportunity to dispose of knives and blades safely. If you are using the bins ensure you are following current government Covid guidelines.

Three knife bins are located in Ipswich (outside the Fire Station, Queen’s Way and Bramford Road) and at police stations in Lowestoft, Bury St Edmunds, Mildenhall, Sudbury and Haverhill and in Stowmarket at the junction of Stricklands Road and Ipswich Street.

For more information and advice about knife crime go to https://www.suffolk.police.uk/advice/personal-safety/knife-crime

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