Operation Sceptre originated from the Metropolitan Police, but has since become a national campaign which is supported by police forces across the country.
As you’ll have seen in the news, nationally we are experiencing an increase in knife crime, and Bedfordshire is no different.
This is a worrying trend, and through working closely with schools in the county, which we’ll continue to this week, we hope we can educate young people on the consequences and dangers of carrying a knife.
As well as that work with schools, we’re also engaging with our communities. On Monday, officers and PCSOs held community engagement events in Luton and Bedford town centres, speaking to the public about knife crime. Your views on this issue are really important and we want to work with you to tackle this.
If you have any concerns about knife crime call police on 101, or call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. In an emergency always dial 999.
You can also get involved to help us this week. On Saturday and Sunday (22 and 23 September), the final two days of the operation, we are inviting the community to join us on two further days of weapons sweeps.
You will be teamed up with officers to search specific locations for knives that have been discarded or hidden for future use. Officers will take responsibility for handling any weapons that are found and securing them before they’re removed from the location.
This is the first time we have invited members of the community to join us on weapons sweeps – we know that knife crime is just as important to you as it is to us. Hopefully by coming out with us you’ll be able to see what we’re doing to tackle it but you’ll also be able to play a part in helping us.
For more information or to register to take part, please email CrimeReduction@bedfordshire.pnn.police.uk
We’ll also be carrying out high visibility patrols in knife crime hotspot areas, which will provide reassurance to residents and a visible deterrent to anyone in the area carrying a knife.
Tackling knife crime is a priority and we will continue to work hard to reduce the number of people who carry knives. That’s why weeks of action like this are so important. However, our activity isn’t just limited to national weeks of action - we regularly run similar operations throughout the year, and that will continue for the foreseeable future.
Inspector John Nichols