Sussex Police teams taking part in Operation Sceptre have taken a total of 272 knives off the street through amnesty bins, weapon sweeps, and stop searches.
Operation Sceptre is a national campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of knife crime and ran from 26 April to 2 May.
Officers in Sussex made a total of 18 arrests for offences including weapon possession, being concerned in the supply of drugs, possession with intent to supply, drug driving, for being wanted on warrant, and assault.
Officers carried out 19 weapon sweeps, 254 knives were placed in the amnesty bins, 21 stop searches were conducted, test purchasing activities were carried out as well as proactive patrols.
Almost 4000 young people were engaged with by officers and provided with vital information and education around the harm knives can cause.
Officers were called to report of an altercation in Grand Parade, Brighton at 4am on Saturday (29 April). Officers attended and carried out searches of the men involved, seizing drugs and a knife. A 37-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of possession of a Class A drug and possession of a knife. A 39-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of assault, attempted robbery and possession a Class A drug. Both have been released under investigation pending further enquiries.
At 12.50pm on Saturday, 29 April, plain clothes officers witnessed a suspected drug deal in Boyces Street Brighton. During the search of a suspect a quantity of suspected Class A drugs and a knife were seized. An 18-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of Class A drugs and possession of a knife. He has been bailed subject to conditions while enquiries are ongoing.
Officers subsequently stopped a male behaving suspiciously near Albion Hill in Brighton around 2pm and carried out a search. The suspect – aged 17 – was found to be in possession of 46 wraps of suspected Class A drugs. He was arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of crack cocaine and heroin. He was released under investigation pending further enquiries.
Detective Chief Inspector Simon Yates said: “This week we’ve seen some fantastic results as our teams have worked together to take knives off the streets and arrest individuals in connection with serious incidents.
“It’s crucial that we continue to share our message that it is a misconception that carrying a knife makes you safer, as it actually puts you at increased risk of harm.
“Carrying a knife for protection is not a defence in law and even being caught with someone carrying can result in a sentence if you are caught.
“During Operation Sceptre we intensified our activities to target offenders and remove harmful items from the streets, but I would like to stress that our activity to combat knife crime is part of everyday policing.
“We have year-round operations to address knife crime including engaging with young people in schools, targeted days of action, and work with partners to ensure people are signposted to help at an early opportunity.
“There is help out there for those who do not feel safe, and we always have amnesty bins in police stations where you can drop off blades so they can be safely disposed of.”
If you need to talk to someone anonymously, Crimestoppers can be reached on 0800 555 111. As always, you can report online or via 101. In an emergency, always call 999.