Police launch new knife crime drive

Image of a knife taken from a 12-year-old boy
Image of a knife taken from a 12-year-old in Brixton in May – Tweeted by Lambeth police chief inspector Roy Smith

A new week of action against knife crime launched today (20 June) by the Metropolitan police comes as concern about the issue mounts.

Local MP Chuka Umunna last month told the Blog of his concern about the issue.

Phase five of Operation Sceptre, a London-wide week of action targeting knife crime, will run until Sunday 26 June.

Police activity throughout the week will include weapon sweeps, “intelligence-led stop and search” and operations to tackle people wanted in connection with knife-related offences and violent crime.

The Met said that evidence suggested its activity on knife crime was “having a real impact”. It said the number of young people injured by knives had been up by 22 per cent in June 2015 but had been steadily decreasing since then.

During previous Sceptre weeks of action, it said, more than 3,700 weapon sweeps were conducted, over 800 weapons recovered and hundreds of shops have been visited by police and trading standards officers to test whether knives are being sold to those aged under 18.

More than 1,500 people had been arrested, including 243 for possessing a knife or offensive weapon.

The Met said Operation Trident and local police gang crime units had targeted gang and knife crime “as daily business”. It said 771 firearms and more than 3,377 knives had been “taken off the street”.

Other officers had been delivered presentations to 14,000 young people in London schools

There are a number of knife bins across London and as part of the Met’s effort to take knives off the streets it is working with Words 4 Weapons, a charity that has about 30 knife surrender bins in London.