PCC thanks the public for supporting Operation Sceptre as more than 550 knives are surrendered
27 November 2023
The Police and Crime Commissioner, Donna Jones, says she’s really pleased people have got behind the latest clampdown on knife crime after more than four times the number of knives were surrendered by the public compared to the same campaign in May.
In the national Op Sceptre week of action, which ran from 13-19 November 2023, 553 knives were put into surrender bins which had been placed at a number of police stations and other locations throughout the two counties.
In total, 637 knives and weapons were recovered or seized as Hampshire and Isle of Wight Constabulary carried out its intensive week-long campaign that included knife sweeps, knife arches, stop and searches, school visits and other community engagement.
PCC Donna Jones said: “We are going to continue to build on this momentum because every knife taken off our streets is a potential life saved, and this campaign really shows that we mean business by confronting knife crime and serious violence head on.
“Carrying a knife doesn’t keep you safe. Children and young people need to hear about the dangers of knife crime from all angles including a consistent and clear message at home that runs in tandem with our zero-tolerance approach to knife crime.
“We must all play our part in ridding our communities of this devastating scourge. If we keep pressing this message home then families won’t be ripped apart by such tragedy and our neighbourhoods will be safer.
The PCC secured £3M of funding from the Home Office to focus on the fight against violent crime with the re-launch of a Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) as well as a Violent Crime Task Force (VCTF).
Police staff from the VRU were out and about during Op Sceptre week highlighting the dangers of knife crime. Engagement included supporting the VCTF and Portsmouth City Council who ran a beat surgery to engage with young people, joining officers as they executed warrants on several addresses in Hart and Rushmoor, and visiting Fareham College to join the police education team workshop on knife violence.
The VRU is a multi-agency public health approach that delivers projects and interventions for under 25s that steer them away from knife crime, serious violence and exploitation.
Knife surrender bins will remain at locations throughout Hampshire and the Isle of Wight until the end of the year so people can anonymously dispose of unwanted knives.