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Cheshire Constabulary is supporting a national knife crime initiative to help take knives off the streets and educate people about the dangers of carrying weapons.
Operation Sceptre is a weeklong targeted approach, which is being held from Monday 15 November to Sunday 21 November. The week is aimed at tackling knife crime and raising awareness.
Cheshire has the second lowest rates of knife crime in England and statistics from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that the only area with a lower rate of knife crime in England and Wales is Durham in the North East of England.
Cheshire Constabulary has a multi-faceted approach to tackling knife crime as it endeavours to achieve weapons-free streets throughout the county.
Chief Inspector Sarah Heath, who is the Force’s knife crime lead, said: “The fact that we have a lower rate of knife crime than all areas of England and Wales bar one is testament to all the hard work that has been done here in Cheshire.
"Our strategy to combat knife crime through education, awareness and action recognises the importance of communities and voluntary groups have in helping to collectively address the complex issues associated with knife crime and habitual knife carrying.
"Working alongside various partner agencies, including local authorities, education providers, health authorities, third sector organisations, youth representatives and community groups, in recent years we have successfully reduced knife-related incidents and put in place longer term strategies to empower communities and support young people through education and intervention.
“When people carry knives it is only a matter of time before someone suffers life changing injuries or is killed, and if you carry a knife then you are much more likely to be involved in a knife crime.
“Our goal is to achieve weapons-free streets throughout the county and we endeavour – through education, awareness and action – to make Cheshire an area where no-one carries a knife or feels that there is a reason to do so.
“However, the police cannot achieve this goal on our own. Knife crime is a societal problem that cannot be solved without the support of the whole society.
“If you have any information regarding knife crimes or those who carry weapons please let us know as it could be enough to save a life.”
Retailers also have an important role to play, by helping to ensure that weapons are not falling into the wrong hands. They are urged to have robust controls on the sale of blades, such as kitchen knives.
It is illegal to sell a knife to anyone under the age of 18, and anyone found carrying a knife in public, without a reasonable excuse, faces a prison sentence.
John Dwyer, Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire, said: “I am committed to tackling knife crime in Cheshire and will do all I can to ensure the Constabulary have the resources they need to tackle the issue.
“The fact that Cheshire has such a low rate of knife crime is a real testament to the work being carried out by the Constabulary.”
If anyone knows of a knife carrier they can report it to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via the Crimestoppers website. In an emergency always, call 999, or you can contact Cheshire Police via the online reporting form on the website.