A week of education and enforcement aimed at tackling knife crime and serious violence has launched.

Operation Sceptre brings police forces across the country together for a national week of action against knife crime from November 15 to November 21.

In Sussex, the campaign provides an opportunity to highlight and enhance the proactive work going on all year round to keep local communities safe from knife-related crime and violence.

Chief Inspector Simon Yates, the force’s lead for knife crime and serious violence, said: “Sussex is a safe place to live and work, and we are committed to keeping it that way. We have a number of initiatives we use to educate and raise awareness of the dangers of carrying a knife among vulnerable and at risk groups of people.

“This includes lessons with young people in schools, getting out and about in our knife crime engagement van and working with partners to signpost to support services for those who may need help and advice.

“As well as the educational activity, we continue to run targeted, intelligence-led operations to take enforcement action against those found to be carrying and using knifes in Sussex. These dangerous weapons have no place on our streets and we will continue to disrupt and prosecute offenders.

“The Op Sceptre week of action will see our activity around knife crime intensify. People can expect to see officers carrying out high-visibility and plain-clothed patrols, as well as conducting knife sweeps in hotspot locations and engaging with the public. If you have any concerns, please contact us so we can offer support or signpost to the agency best-placed to help.”

Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne said: “Too many young people lose their lives or their futures every year as a result of knife injuries. We need to get the message out that carrying a knife will not make you safer or earn you respect but it could make you a target of violence or earn you a criminal record.
“If you or someone you know is walking around armed with a knife, have a hard think about the consequences. Drop them in the amnesty bins around the county or leave them in the kitchen or workshop drawer where they belong – lose the knife not a life.”

As always, knife amnesty bins will be available at stations across the county to allow people to safely dispose of dangerous or unwanted knifes and blades with no questions asked.

Police also continue to work closely with young people and partners to identify the underlying reasons why a person may carry a knife, and to raise awareness of the consequences of doing so.

Young people can receive and report information around knife crime anonymously via Fearless.org.

Members of the public are also encouraged to report information to police either online or by calling 101. Always dial 999 in an emergency. Information can be reported anonymously via the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or Childline on 0800 1111.