Bedfordshire Police has equipped police cars with knife ‘wands’ - handheld metal detectors that can be used during searches to highlight if a person is carrying a knife.
All response vehicles in Bedfordshire have been equipped with the new wands as part of the force’s commitment to tackling knife crime.
They will be used to search someone when officers have reasonable grounds to believe someone may be carrying a weapon, to find it quickly and efficiently.
The force purchased 60 knife wands, which were bought using an extra £1m from a Home Office grant awarded to the force in April, specifically to tackle serious violence and knife crime.
Assistant Chief Constable Jackie Sebire said: “It’s been well documented that knife crime in Bedfordshire has increased, and it’s something we’re continuing to take seriously.
“The knife wands will allow our officers to quickly find out if someone is carrying a knife, and take appropriate action.
“Taking knives off the streets of Bedfordshire continues to be a priority for us.
“Carrying a knife is never acceptable, and I hope the introduction of these knife wands proves to be a deterrent, and encourages young people to stop carrying a knife. If you’re found with one, you could face time in jail.”