A week of intensified enforcement, prevention and engagement to tackle knife crime

Surrender a knife - save a life. 13-19th May at police stations across Merseyside

Today (13 May 2024) marks the launch of Sceptre, the national knife crime awareness campaign and week of action for police forces across the UK.

During Sceptre, officers from Merseyside Police will continue their work to tackle knife crime and use it as an opportunity to educate the public on the dangers of carrying a weapon.

Uniformed officers will be deployed across Merseyside to deter offenders and provide reassurance to the local community, with a particular focus in hotspot areas where crime is most likely to occur. More than 3,000 hours of targeted uniformed foot patrols have helped drive down serious violence in the last year.

Officers will also be proactively monitoring individuals with live Serious Violence Reduction Orders (SVROs) and undertaking stop searches when they are in a public place.

As a result of proactive policing and education, supported and delivered by partner organisations, Merseyside has seen significant reductions in both serious violence and knife crime, with 263 fewer victims of serious violence in the last year alone.

Knife crime has also fallen by 18.6% for the year ending September 2023 compared with the previous 12 months (Office of National Statistics).

This week, the public can also hand in a knife, bladed article or other offensive weapon safely at select police stations across Liverpool, St Helens, Knowsley, Sefton and Wirral.

Every knife surrendered is one less potentially dangerous weapon on the streets of Merseyside – last November, 170 weapons were handed in by the public, which included swords, flick knives and other bladed articles banned under the Offensive Weapons Act.

To mark the week, a major conference is taking place today where the region’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Emily Spurrell, and Chief Constable, Serena Kennedy, will join more than 120 partners to look at the role healthcare professionals can play in helping to prevent serious violence.

Many of the Merseyside Violence Reduction Partnership (MVRP)’s initiatives will be running throughout the week, focused on preventing knife crime and educating young people.

This includes a StreetDoctors session at Wirral Youth Justice Services focused on teaching young people how to save lives using a new first aid e-learning app which explains how to stop a potentially life-threatening bleed.

The MVRP’s Mentors in Violence Prevention training which empowers young people to help prevent violence, bullying and other forms of abuse will be running in the Belvedere Academy by Princes Park in Liverpool on Wednesday and Pensby High School in Wirral on Friday.

On Thursday, the charity Knifesavers will be holding two training events at Aintree University Hospital focused on educating local community members on how to deal with a knife injury and stem blood loss, using special bleeding control kits.

The MVRP’s Fire Champions will also be running in St Leos and Southmead Primary in Whiston and Mersey Park Primary School in Tranmere focused on equipping young people with the skills to stay safe from risk in their communities.

Merseyside’s Police and Crime Commissioner Emily Spurrell said: “In the past year alone, we’ve seen knife crime reduce by 18.6%.

“This is hugely welcome, and it is testament to the hard work and commitment of Merseyside Police, our Violence Reduction Partnership and a wide range of partners, who are determined to prevent and reduce the use of knives and their potentially devastating consequences.

“But even one knife incident is too many and that’s why we’re committed to tackling the use of knives all year round. Through robust enforcement, but crucially also by working to tackle the root causes of serious violence. Key to this is education and awareness-raising. By listening to our young people and engaging with them we are putting positive interventions in place to steer them away from a path that could lead to serious violence.”

Inspector Laura Leach, Merseyside’s Deputy Lead for Serious Violence and Knife Crime said: “Knife crime has a devastating impact on families and communities. That’s why we are using this week of action as an opportunity to showcase the year-round work of officers and partners, to not only enforce but to prevent and engage with communities about the dangers of knife crime.

“There is no excuse for carrying a knife. Our message is simple, carrying a knife puts yours and other lives at risk. Our officers are committed to keeping people safe on our streets – anyone caught with a knife will be arrested and put before the courts.

“This week’s knife surrender offers a safe space to hand in any knives or bladed items, so we would encourage the public to engage with this and continue to report any information which may help us continue to tackle knife crime.”

Anyone with any information or concerns about knife crime can report it to Merseyside Police or Crimestoppers anonymously. Call 101, direct message @MerPolCC on X or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.