Over 80 Arrests Made In West Yorkshire In National Week To Combat Knife Crime
Thursday November 24, 2022
More than 80 arrests have been made and 40 weapons sweeps conducted across West Yorkshire as part of a national week of action to reduce knife crime.
Officers from across West Yorkshire Police joined the force’s dedicated Operation Jemlock, which is an operation dedicated to the reduction of serious violent crime and knife crime, in enforcement and crime prevention work to support November’s national Operate Sceptre.
Police took 42 knives from the region’s streets as part of proactive patrols which included the use of weapons sweeps and stop and search, resulting in arrests being made across the county.
Eighty three arrests were made in total over the week of action between November 14 and 20th.
Neighbourhood policing and specialist officers also worked across schools to raise awareness among young people of the dangers of carrying knives.
In total they visited 66 schools and attended 24 other education events, at locations including Leeds, Kirklees, Calderdale, Bradford and Wakefield.
Knife arches were also deployed for public reassurance in Calderdale.
Officers also took part in special patrols in city centres such as Leeds to deter offending and provide reassurance to women and girls to help them feel safer using the night time economy.
Meanwhile, the week also saw officers maintain operations with the UK Border Force to increase the intelligence shared with forces about those who are importing knives into England and Wales from overseas.
Chief Inspector James Kitchen, who leads Operation Jemlock, said: “The Operation Sceptre week of action is a significant week for West Yorkshire Police and it has seen colleagues carry out a many different activities in our communities.
“Evidence based proactive preventative patrols, along with targeted oprations for those who are wanted led to officers making over 80 arrests. More than 40 weapon sweeps were carried out to engage with the public and reassure them that their communities are safe places, whilst removing any discarded items that might be used as a weapon.
“Educating young people about the dangers of carrying knives remains absolutely key to reducing offending in the long term and this is reflected in the large numbers of school visits colleagues have carried out.
“We continue to work very closely with the West Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit ( VRU) on a whole range of programmes and projects to educate young people and provide interventions across West Yorkshire to potentially stop more people from taking knives onto the streets.”
“He added: “More than 2,300 arrests have been made, and over 770 weapons removed from the streets by officers working on Operation Jemlock since January 2021 alone, and the team manages hotspots across West Yorkshire, carrying out thousands of extra hours of patrols each week.
“This work is helping to prevent hundreds of potential crimes taking place, that means hundreds less victims of violent crime and knife crime. We urge residents to please keep reporting any information they have on knife crime in their communities and the information from the public will be used to help target our resources.”
Director of the West Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit (VRU), Chief Superintendent Jackie Marsh said: “It is great to see how effective Operation Jemlock have been in addressing both the enforcement aspects of tackling knife crime, but also the education and awareness aspects.
“It complements everything we do in the Violence Reduction Unit to prevent serious violence from occurring in the first place, and the many interventions we are currently funding to help change behaviours.
“In taking this unified partnership approach, we can make a real difference to young people’s lives, engaging them at both the ‘teachable’ and ‘reachable’ moments.”