Over 40 people arrested during Operation Sceptre

Forty-four people have been arrested and 68 knives seized after a week of dedicated action to tackle knife crime across South Yorkshire, in support of the national Operation Sceptre.

Operation Sceptre was launched on Tuesday 18 September by forces across the UK. The week of high-visibility, proactive policing activity saw significant seizures of dangerous weapons across South Yorkshire, as Detective Superintendent Una Jennings explains.

“Our officers and staff have worked incredibly hard during Operation Sceptre and thanks to their proactive approach, we have seized nearly 70 knives and removed them from the streets of South Yorkshire.

“We carried out 63 test purchase operations in partnership with Trading Standards with retailers across South Yorkshire, many of whom passed the checks and refused to sell knives to under 18s. Of those that failed, they have received warnings or the premises have taken positive action to ensure that this does not happen in future.

“There were 20 weapons sweeps or land searches carried out across the force, with 25 knives being recovered from those searches alone.

“The upsetting and tragic loss of another life as a result of knife crime in Sheffield last weekend, while Operation Sceptre was running, has undoubtedly affected our communities and has shaken many of us within the force.

“This serious incident has only strengthened our resolve to continue with our proactive approach to tackling knife crime and progressing our long-term Knife Crime Strategy in partnership with local authorities, health and other agencies.”

As part of the week of action, there were around 75 engagement events across the region, which included visits to local schools and presentations about the risks of knife crime, as well as pop up police stations and engagement stalls at community events.

Det Supt Jennings added: “It is vitally important that we continue to work together to address the issue of knife crime and make our young people feel safer and, if they are considering carrying a knife, understand why that is and educate them away from this highly dangerous path.

“I’m grateful for the support of our partner agencies, schools and the communities of South Yorkshire as we continue our efforts to tackle this devastating crime.”

If you hold any information about individuals involved in knife crime or have any concerns, please call police on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.