Cheshire Constabulary has teamed up with the North West’s biggest rugby union stars in a bid to clamp down on knife crime and educate young people about the dangers of carrying a knife.
The Constabulary has partnered with Sale Sharks in a joint effort to reduce offences and raise awareness on the dangers of knife crime.
The joint initiative has kicked off this week as officers from Cheshire Constabulary – together with other forces throughout the country – support the anti-knife crime campaign ‘Operation Sceptre’.
The national week of action runs from Monday 14 November until Sunday 20 November and highlights the risks of carrying a bladed weapon and the devastating impacts of knife crime.
Chief Inspector Sarah Heath, who is Cheshire Constabulary’s knife crime lead, said:
“I am really excited to have Sale Sharks willing to work with us to get the knife free message out there.
“Such established sporting role models are proven to be successful in engaging with young people on such important matters.”
Sale Sharks’ Brand and Community Manager Vicky Irwin said:
“We’ve all seen the devastating consequences of knife crime, and that’s why we’re really proud to be supporting Cheshire Constabulary and the work it is doing to educate young people and reduce the number of knives on our streets.
“At Sale Sharks we want to be so much more than a rugby club. We want to make a lasting impact on our community, and work like this is an incredibly important part of that.
“We know our players can be positive role models for so many young people, and everyone at the club is behind this important campaign to reinforce the message that there is no place for knives on our streets.”
Sale Sharks first team stars will be appearing in pictures and videos on the club’s social media channels
Posters promoting the key messages of the campaign will appear in the clubhouses of the Sharks’ ‘100 Club’ clubs in Cheshire
Officers from Cheshire Constabulary will be delivering a presentation to the Sharks’ under 17s and under 18s squads.
Officers will also be carrying out a range of policing activity during the week of action – including community knife sweeps, retailer visits, hotspot policing, robust policing activity, knife crime surgeries and utilising knife surrender bins – in a bid to tackle the issue and encourage young people not to carry knives.
While Cheshire has one of the lowest rates of knife crime in England and Wales, officers are still working tirelessly to further reduce the number of knives carried on our streets.
Cheshire Constabulary has a robust approach to making the county a hostile environment for criminals, including those who carry knives.
Officers will be visiting local schools and colleges to help educate young people about the horrific consequences of knife crime.
They will also meet with local youths to offer them advice and positive alternatives to crime.
Supt Heath said:
“Despite Cheshire having one of the lower knife crime rates in the country, tackling the knife crime that does occur here is a huge priority for our force.
“Operation Sceptre allows Cheshire Constabulary to rally together with other forces in a bid to clamp down on knife crime in our communities to make our streets safer for everyone.
“We are particularly excited to be working with Sale Sharks on this endeavour while we continue to build on the success that education, awareness and action has had on our fight against knife crime.
“Through this collaborative approach, we strive towards a shared goal of keeping weapons off our streets throughout the county.
“We will continue to stop and search anyone suspected of carrying a weapon and to use all of the powers at our disposal to combat weapon enabled crime.
“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.
“Knives are dangerous, there is no place for them on our streets and they will not be tolerated by Cheshire Constabulary.
“I want to reach out to those who carry knives or have considered doing so and let them know that carrying knives or other weapons does not keep you safe and can have fatal consequences which have devastated families and communities. By carrying a knife you are putting yourself in much greater danger, and you’re more likely to become involved in a violent situation and get injured yourself.
“I also want to ask parents, guardians and family members to champion that message to their loved ones.
“Cheshire Constabulary is doing all it can to reduce the number of dangerous weapons on our streets and to educate people about the dangers of knife crime, and I urge anyone with information about those who carry such weapons to come forward in confidence and report it.”
To report any type of crime involving weapons, call Cheshire Constabulary on 101, or 999 in an emergency.