Week of action to tackle knife crime launches on Merseyside
11 months ago
A national week of action to deter those involved in knife crime launches today, coinciding with the anniversary of 12-year old Ava White.
Merseyside Police are asking for your help in sharing important messages and having conversations with those most at risk from knife crime.
#OpSceptre is an operation which aims to proactively target those carrying weapons, reduce these offences, raise awareness of the dangers of knife crime, and provide young people with more positive alternatives to crime.
Superintendent Phil Mullally said:
“Tackling knife crime is not something we do during this one week of awareness it is a priority all year round for our police force and others up and down the country. We use this national campaign to really put a spotlight on criminals, take weapons off the streets and protect our communities.
“The week-long national campaign of Operation Sceptre also coincides with the one-year anniversary of 12-year-old Ava White’s death who tragically passed away after she was stabbed on School Lane by a 14-year-old boy in the city centre on Thursday 25 November.
“Our thoughts and condolences go out to Ava White’s family one year on from this devastating crime that impacted so many across our communities in Merseyside. Our officers are absolutely determined to make further changes for the better to ensure the safety of all those living in and visiting Liverpool.
“That is why across Merseyside, officers will be carrying out a variety of policing activity including open land searches, stop searches, high visibility and plain clothed patrols, weapon sweeps as well as working with our partners, from local schools, youth clubs, retailers, probation, charities and the medical profession to share intelligence and ideas.
“Merseyside Police will also run a knife and weapons surrender throughout the week so that anyone carrying an offensive weapon including all types of knives, blades and swords can dispose of it safely.
“This is an opportunity to surrender any weapons you may have inherited from deceased relatives, or that may have been overlooked or forgotten about. You can also surrender weapons, such as knuckle dusters, flick knives, push daggers and many others, which are now illegal to possess in a private place.
“Carrying any of these weapons is a serious offence and our officers will take action against anyone causing fear or harm in our community.
“Handing in these weapons means they can no longer be used on our streets as a form of violence and aggression, making Merseyside a safer place to live and visit.”
Detective Superintendent Siobhan Gainer, Head of the Merseyside Violence Reduction Partnership, added:
“We believe that a sustainable, public health approach is needed to reduce any and all forms of serious violence.
“That means intervening positively in lives from the womb to young adulthood, challenging negative beliefs such as misogyny and offering young people positive activities and mentoring.
“The fruits of that approach – which calls on the expertise of councils, the DWP, health and Merseyside Fire and Rescue Services along with other key partner agencies – may not always be instant, but we are convinced it will reduce the impact of serious violence, bring unity to our communities and change lives for the better.”
If you would like to report someone in possession of a knife, know whether they are being hidden or are simply concerned about your loved one, please do contact us @MerPolCC or via CrimeStoppersUK on 0800 555 111.