Operation Sceptre – Knife Crime Awareness Week 23-29th March 2020

Operation Sceptre starts next week; a national campaign which takes place twice a year, supporting the work Sussex Police carry out all year to ensure residents and communities are safe from knife crime.

The campaign will be a mix of targeted operational activities, and educational activities, aimed at removing unwanted knives and weapons from the streets.

Targeted activities will include an increase in stop and searches, knife amnesty no questions asked bins across front offices, and educational visits to schools, colleges and youth groups by Prevention Youth Officers, and Reboot staff to help reassure young people they are safer by not carrying knives and walking away from harm.

Across the Lewes district, knife amnesty bins will be set up in all front offices, including Lewes, Newhaven, and Seaford (these will remain after the week).

Other activities on the district, will see PCs, PCSOs and various volunteers
hitting park areas of the district, as well as town centres such as Newhaven and Lewes with metal detectors, to conduct knife sweeps to locate hidden, or discarded knives and implements.

Advice for parents and carers:

Some young people carry a knife because they are worried about becoming a victim of knife crime. Unfortunately, carrying a knife only increases their chance of becoming hurt.

The easiest and most common place for young people to get a knife is from the family home. If you think something isn’t quite right then consider other less obvious warning signs, including:

  • • They have become withdrawn, or they are quieter than usual
  • • Their school or college is reporting worrying changes in their behaviour, or their grades and interest in education have suddenly dropped
  • • They have lost interest in hobbies and are vague about their movements
  • • They have changed their group of friends, perhaps to an older network
  • • They have become suddenly secretive about their belongings, or where they have been, or have been lying about staying with friends

There are other reasons why young people exhibit these behaviours, such as problems at school, or struggles with their mental health; it may not be knife related but if you spot any of the above, do talk to them. Ask their views on knife crime, and whether they would ever consider carrying a knife, discover if they feel safe when they go out, and if not, why not?

You can report concerns around knife crime  online, or by calling 101 – you can also report anonymously to CrimeStoppers online.