As part of a national policing operation starting today, there will be covert and overt operations, high visibility policing and an abundance of activity across South Yorkshire in a bid to tackle knife crime in our county.
The Force launched its knife crime campaign in July through to November last year, and has re-launched again today Monday, 12 February to support the national operation, entitled Sceptre, running until Sunday, 18 February, with the main aim of reducing knife crime and the number of families affected by it through enforcement, action and education.
Force lead for armed criminality, Detective Superintendent Una Jennings said: “There has been a rise in our county in offences involving knives and bladed weapons, as there has been across the entire country, however I want to make it very clear this is not going to be tolerated in our city, towns and villages in South Yorkshire.
“We are fully supporting this national operation and we have a week of robust action, operations, engagement events and a wide range of activities, to ensure we reach all those who are, or could be involved or affected by knife crime, and to demonstrate and offer assurance to the public that we are committed in reducing this type of criminality.
“We must raise awareness of the grave and serious consequences that carrying a knife can have. whether it’s carried for ‘protection’ or ‘status’, the fact remains you have a lethal and dangerous weapon in your possession.
“Do you carry a knife, or does someone close to you carry one? Please consider the life changing impact it could have on yourself or on your loved one and #droptheknife.”
Some of the activity will include operations taking place in the night-time economy in an attempt to minimise and reduce any risk of violent crime involving a knife or bladed weapon, with knife arches present at certain venues and an increased police presence to deal with any issues should they arise.
There will also be a range of engagement activity taking place across the county with Neighbourhood Policing Teams holding events in areas identified as being of concern and speaking with young people to raise awareness of the consequences, and how becoming involved can have potentially have a detrimental impact on the rest of their lives.
Det Supt Jennings added: “The consequences of carrying a knife or bladed weapon will only ever lead to a devastating and destructive impact on your life.
“You run the risk of up to four-years in prison just for possession, if you use the knife and fatally injure someone, you could receive a life sentence behind bars or, you could be the fatally injured person, and leave your family and loved ones distraught and heartbroken.
“There is only ever one outcome; carry a knife, lose your life. Please support us in reducing the risk and our aim to ensure South Yorkshire is a safe place to live, work and visit.”
If you have any information regarding illegal activity, please call the charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.
Hear more from Det Supt Jennings in this video: