More than 3,000 knives taken off streets of Bedfordshire in week clampdown

More than 3,000 knifes are now safely off the streets after being recovered from outdoor public spaces and a number of weapons bins throughout the county.

By Stewart Carr
Friday, 20th November 2020, 3:42 pm
Updated Friday, 20th November 2020, 3:46 pm

This activity was a result of Operation Sceptre – the national week of action aimed at tackling knife crime and to encourage people to think twice before carrying a knife.

Taking place from Monday 9 to Sunday 15 November, Bedfordshire Police worked with partners to participate in a number of activities, such as weapons sweeps, engaging with retailers and pro-active high visibility patrols in areas most affected by knife crime.

Officers from Bedfordshire Police’s crime reduction team emptied 10 weapons bins prior to the week of action and found 3,216 blades and 14 firearms. The bins in the north of the county were last emptied in March this year, and the bins in the south were last emptied in October 2019.

Knife recovered in Luton

The bins were emptied again earlier this week and a further 223 blades and two firearms were recovered.

Officers from the force’s community teams took part in four weapons sweeps across the county, where a total of five knifes were located. During the week, there were six knife-related arrests made, which resulted in two more weapons being seized.

A successful retailer engagement day also took place and officers were able to visit around 115 retail outlets to further educate and engage with supervisors and managers about the impact of selling knives to underage customers. A number of them have signed up to the Responsible Retailer Scheme to ensure they are selling such items in a responsible way.

Detective Chief Inspector Aaron Kiff said: “It was a successful week of action and we are pleased that a huge number of knives and firearms are now off the street and can’t be used in crime.

Officers during a search

“Tackling gang criminality, knife and gun crime is a priority for the force and last year there was a nine per cent reduction in incidents of serious violence in the county, which equates to 200 fewer victims.

“Carrying a knife has serious consequences. Not only do you risk a hefty fine and jail sentence just for carrying one, you are also more likely to become a victim of knife crime yourself.

“This is why it is so important for anyone who has information on knife crime in their local community to report it to us, as this helps us to build a better picture of the hotspot areas we need to target to keep people safe.

To report concerns about knife crime, report it to Beds Police online or by calling 101.