Knife crime and the culture around it will continue to be targeted by Kent Police following the local successes of Operation Sceptre.
The national campaign, which is designed to support targeted enforcement and raise awareness of knife crime, ran from Monday 11 – Sunday 17 March 2019.
In Kent, more than 26 weapons including knives, blades, a chainsaw and a baseball bat were recovered by officers put on dedicated patrols to support Op Sceptre.
At the time of writing, statistics showed 62 people had been arrested, 150 people were stopped, 83 people were searched and ten search warrants were executed. More than £97,000 in cash was seized, suspected to have been gained through criminal activity, and more than 350 wraps of class A drugs, believed to be cocaine and heroin.
Districts such as Canterbury, Dartford and Tunbridge Wells saw proactive weapon sweeps and community engagement events at key locations such as train stations, shopping centres and high streets in partnership with local councils and the British Transport Police (BTP).
Of the weapons seized, one of them was a large hunting knife found by officers from the Community Policing Team in Medway after they stopped and searched a vehicle in Rochester on Tuesday 12 March. Three people were arrested and suspected class A drugs were seized.
Following the successes of Op Sceptre in the county, Kent Police will continue its level of enforcement action targeting those who think it is acceptable to carry knives.
Kent Police Chief Constable Alan Pughsley said: ‘Reports of knife crime have increased across the UK and have been well-documented in the media. Kent is a safe county and we plan to keep it that way.
‘Officers take a zero-tolerance approach to knives and weapons in our communities at all times but the successes of Op Sceptre mean we will be continuing this high-level of enforcement action.
‘Those who carry knives or weapons say they do so for protection but our experience shows those who carry knives are more likely to be hurt or arrested.’
The continued enforcement will see uniformed and plain-clothed officers carry out extra patrols to detect and deter habitual knife carriers.
Partnership working with other agencies such as BTP, local councils and education providers will also continue.
CC Pughsley added: ‘Knife crime is not just about injuring another person – it can include offences without causing injury such as possession and criminal damage.
‘In tackling knife crime officers will without doubt address associated offences such as drug dealing and domestic abuse.
‘Our message is simple; knife crime in Kent will not be tolerated.’
We are still collating arrest details and waiting for some officers who haven’t returned to duty from the weekend to notify us of any other arrests during Op Sceptre. We can confirm at least 62 people have been arrested but this figure is subject to change. These arrests are broken down in the following locations:
Folkestone – 7
Gravesend – 5
Canterbury – 7
Dartford – 3
Swale – 2
Medway – 13
Maidstone – 7
Ashford – 2
Thanet – 8
Dover – 2
Shepway – 3
Swanley – 3
- Kent Police and BTP officers at Canterbury train station
- Kent Police Chief Constable Alan Pughsley
PSE 59753 Adam Sackett
Volunteer & Neighbourhood Watch Liaison Officer
East Kent Police
Police Station, Fort Hill, Margate, Kent, CT9 1HL
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org