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Yesterday marked the start of Operation Sceptre in Essex and with the latest statistics, September 2018 from the ONS stating an ‘8% increase in recorded offences with the use of a knife or sharp instrument’, September 2018 and in Essex alone around 160 to 180 crimes committed with weapons are recorded every month, something had to be done.
Back in July 2015 Operation Sceptre first come to light with the aim to have police all over the country focusing on tackling knife crime in their local community. Some of the actions that will be conducted include:
- Weapon sweeps
- Intelligence-led stop checks
- Knife awareness events
Some of the events that take place will take place in partnerships with charities such as Only Cowards Carry.
Founded in late 2012 by Caroline Shearer, Only Cowards Carry was set-up in memory of her 17 year old son, Jay Whiston, who was fatally stabbed in September 2012. Since that start of the charity and partnerships with government organisations and the police, the creation of the ‘Knife Amnesty Bin Project’ which started in June 2015. The idea behind the bins are to encourage people on the streets to not carry a knife or sharp object and dispose of it in the bin. The location of the bins local to Essex are:
- Tendring – Only Cowards Carry Charity Shop, 12 Jackson Road, Clacton-On-Sea, CO15 1JA
- Colchester – Colchester Police Station, 10 Southway, Colchester, CO3 3BU
- Chelmsford – Chelmsford Police Station, New Street, Chelmsford, CM1 1NF
- Braintree – Braintree Police Station, Blyths Meadow, Braintree, CM7 3DJ
- Basildon – Opposite Chalvedon Social Club, Mill Green, Chalvedon Square, Pitsea, SS13 3QX
Since the trial of the bins a new bin was placed outside of Basildon Police Station and in total over 6000 knives have been handed in. If you would like more information on Only Cowards Carry, you can visit their site here.
Operation Sceptre will continue to run all week to make Essex safer for everyone.
The NPCC released a statement on Twitter, yesterday:
Other companies are doing their best to help reduce the number of knives on the street.
One of which is ASDA, they released an article on 8 March stating their decision to stop selling single kitchen knives in all of its stores by the end of April.
Senior vice-president, Nick Jones said:
“We strongly believe that we have a responsibility to support the communities that we serve. Whilst we have already taken steps to restrict the sale of knives to ensure that they do not fall into the wrong hands, we felt there was more we could be doing to support those looking at how to bring this issue under control.
“We know single knives are the most common knife products to be stolen and that is why we have chosen to remove these items from our stores. This is an issue that means a lot to our customers and to our colleagues, and we are committed to playing our small part in helping to make our communities safer for all.”
Essex Police are encouraging the citizens of the the Essex community to speak to the police about information on people they know who carry knives or weapons.
“Information is also really key. If you know someone who carries a weapon or have information about drugs or gangs, for example, tell us. We can then take action against those people.”
For more information on knife crime and who you can help, you can visit Essex Police Knife Crime.