Dedicated officers seize 14 knives and recover 791kg of weapons
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Dedicated officers in Essex have seized 14 knives and recovered 791kg of weapons from surrender bins across Essex during a national week of intensification.
We also made ten arrests, carried out 74 stop and searches and executed nine warrants.
As part national Op Sceptre week, which sees an intensification of police forces’ anti-knife crime work, we also worked alongside colleagues in Border Force to seize four weapons which were destined for addresses in Essex, including a knuckleduster and a blade disguised as a bracelet.
Investigations have been opened into how and where these weapons were bought and by whom.
Some of the weapons recovered from the Chelmsford surrender bin. The bins are emptied every six months.
As well as our arrests and seizures, we also carried out 25 weapons sweeps and spoke with pupils at numerous schools on the dangers of knife crime.
One shop in Colchester failed in a test purchase where a juvenile was able to buy a Stanley knife without being challenged. That store was given a verbal warning by officers.
Detective Superintendent Lewis Basford, of the Essex Police Serious Violence Unit, said:
“Knife crime causes devastation for families and communities. At Essex Police, we have a relentless focus on driving it down – and the gang and violence which sadly often comes with it.”
And the work we are doing is making a difference and violence with injury incidents across Essex continue to fall.
In the year to October 2021, there were 283 fewer incidents compared to the same timeframe in October 2020 while the number of possession of weapons reports year on year has also dropped by more than 15 per cent.
That drop is directly linked to the work being carried out by our specialist Op Raptor officers who work to disrupt drug dealing and the violence which sits alongside that.
“Enforcement, although very important, is only one element of our work and throughout the intensification week we visited a number of school and young people’s groups to talk about the dangers of knife crime and to tell them clearly that carrying a knife is never the answer to any problems they may have. “Knives do not offer the protection they may believe it does. All they do is devastate lives. “In Essex, we are incredibly lucky to have so many partners, such as the Essex Violence and Vulnerability Unit, who believe the same as we do and help is on offer to any young people, or their families, who are at risk of being groomed into a life of crime.”
Information on the help which is on offer to young people in Essex can be found at www.essexvvu.co.uk and www.seethesigns.org.uk.