Axe and baseball bat uncovered in Fishwick Park bushes as Lancashire Police launch week-long anti-knife crime Operation Sceptre

A weapon search carried out yesterday morning at a park in Fishwick Preston by Lancashire Police found an axe and a baseball bat.

Tuesday, 16th November 2021, 9:36 am

Holding the two weapons in each hand, Sergeant Nick Miller of Lancashire Police Violence Reduction Network who is taking part in the week-long anti knife campaign Operation Sceptre has said knife crime will not be tolerated.

Operation Sceptre which began yesterday is to target those who are carrying weapons, raise awareness of the dangers and impacts of knife crime, and engage with retailers.

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Lancashire Police Nick Miller with his findings.

Throughout Lancashire, officers will be working together with partner organisations to visit schools to educate young people, search for knives in public places, conduct high visibility patrols, use metal detecting arches to identify people who may be carrying knives, and give advice to shops on the laws on selling knives.

Temp Chief Inspector Dave Oldfield, of Lancashire Violence Reduction Network, said: “This concentrated week of action is about police activity against knife crime but we also spend a lot of time engaging with young people and wider communities to educate people on the laws around carrying knives and the dangers and potential impacts of doing so.

“Knife crime impacts not only the individuals involved, but their families, friends and wider community. It’s truly devastating when an incident occurs so I urge anyone thinking about carrying a knife to reconsider as in a brief moment your life can be changed forever."

Andrew Snowden, Lancashire's Police and Crime Commissioner added: "Tackling knife crime and violent crime is extremely important and saves lives. It doesn't just affect individuals, it affects families, friends, and entire communities so I would urge anyone considering carrying a knife, don't do it.

"Weeks of action such as Operation Sceptre allow us to highlight the work that officers do throughout the year to remove these dangerous weapons from our communities, crack down on those who carry them and make our communities safer. It also allows us to intensify our activity to address local concerns and give the public confidence that officers are working tirelessly to protect our streets.

"I am fully committed to working closely with the Constabulary as I lead the fight against crime, ensuring the force has the resources to bring offenders to justice, whilst also working with partners across Lancashire to raise awareness of just how dangerous carrying a knife is, for the person carrying it and the wider community."

From April 2020 to March 2021 there were 1,020 offences involving a knife in Lancashire - 10% less than from April 2019 to March 2020 where there were 1,138, and 11% less than the 1,151 offences in April 2018 to March 2019. Young people in Lancashire are 1.5 times more likely to know someone who carries a knife than adults.

In the most recent year, Lancashire had 76 knife offences per 100,000 population, compared to 89 per 100,000 across England.

If you have any information about knife crime in Lancashire, contact the police on 101 or report anonymously to the independent charity, Crimestoppers, on 0800 555 111.