UNIFORMED and plain clothes police officers have been patrolling town centres and conducting stop searches if they suspect people are carrying weapons.
Alongside Essex Police’s countywide knife amnesty, officers in Thurrock conducted these searches and put up a knife arch at Chafford Hundred Lakeside rail station every day.
Police will be at the rail station until Sunday, May 22 to keep shoppers and residents safe.
Chief Inspector Terry Fisher said: “Our knife amnesty means anyone who has a bladed weapon they want to dispose of can do so safely in one of our knife bins.
“We want to get as many knives as possible off our streets. If you carry a knife you are more likely to have it used against you.
“My officers are always on the alert for people who carry knives and other weapons but this week, in support of the amnesty, we wanted to highlight our work in this area.”
Thurrock volunteer police cadets also carried out test purchases on Tuesday, May 17 at Lakeside shopping centre and retail park in every shop selling knives and other sharp implements.
All of the cadets, aged between 13 and 16, were challenged and none were able to buy any sort of weapon. Afterwards, a police officer went into each shop and thanked staff for their vigilance.
JoJo Mitchell, police community support officer and volunteer cadet leader said: “It’s very important to reassure the public that shop staff are aware of their responsibilities when it comes to selling dangerous items.
“So involving our younger cadets in test purchasing helps us to keep our communities safe.
“We had only praise to pass back to the Thurrock Council licensing team, which is very reassuring.”
Between Sunday, May 15 and Sunday, May 22 officers will be in Grays, Aveley, Corringham, Purfleet, South Ockendon, Stanford-le-Hope, Tilbury and West Thurrock at various times.
The police knife amnesty runs until Sunday and if you have knives to hand in, you can do so at special knife bins placed at 14 sites across the county.
Knife bins have been set up at police stations in Victoria Avenue, Southend, Rayleigh High Street, Great Oaks, Basildon; Long Road, Canvey; and opposite Chalvedon Social Club in Pitsea.