Thousands of weapons surrendered to police across the UK as knife crackdown continues

Will Metcalfe
Operation Sceptre which ran from March 11 to 17 has seen hundreds of weapons handed in to police.

Thousands of knives have been surrendered across the country as part of a national amnesty.

Operation Sceptre takes place every year and sees police forces across the UK place bins across their community for knives to be destroyed.

This year the operation seems more timely, coming as Britain is in the grip of a knife crime epidemic with the latest murder coming on Saturday when 29-year-old Nathaniel Armstrong killed in Fulham.

Last year there were 135 homicides in London, many of which were knife related and so far this year 26 people have been killed in the capital.

This year’s amnesty saw 680 knives collected in Humberside alone, while elsewhere there were hundreds more dumped.

Knives surrendered to South Wales Police in Cardiff
Meat cleavers, kitchen knives and flick blades were handed in to Suffolk police.

A huge leap in knife crime which saw Spanish national David Martinez, become the 14th stabbing fatality in 16 days earlier this month, after 17 year olds Jodie Chesney and Yousef Makki, were killed in separate incidents in London and Greater Manchester.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid is calling for more money to tackle knife crime, while Theresa May and Met Commissioner Cressida Dick recently clashed over whether a reduction in officer numbers had fuelled the problem.

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The killings have prompted warnings of a ‘national emergency’ and sparked intense scrutiny of reductions in the size of the police workforce.

The number of officers in the 43 territorial forces in England and Wales has fallen by more than 24,000 since 2009, and numbers of PCSOs have falled more than 5,000 in the same period.

Operation Sceptre which ran from March 11 to 17 has seen hundreds of weapons handed in to police.
Knives seized by Lowestoft police in Suffolk.
Just a selection of the knives surrendered to Welsh police

Mrs May, who was home secretary from 2010 to 2016, argued at the beginning of March there was ‘no direct correlation between certain crimes and police numbers’.

But a string of senior figures in policing including Met Commissioner Cressida Dick lined up to dispute her claims.

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