Swords And Machetes Seized With 82 Arrests Made In Knife Crime Week of Action

Friday 24 May, 2024

Dangerous weapons, including swords have been prevented from reaching the streets of West Yorkshire as part of a national week of action to reduce knife crime.

Officers from West Yorkshire Police’s Operation Jemlock Team attended at 25 addresses in Leeds Bradford and Wakefield last week in joint work with the UK Border Agency to intercept knives, swords and knuckle dusters ordered by residents.

The operation was a significant part of the week of action which saw police make 82 knife crime related arrests.

Fourteen people were dealt with by police in the joint operations which were just one element of a swathe of activity across West Yorkshire.

In Wakefield police conducted weapons sweeps of areas where knives can be hidden and test purchase operations in which young persons attempted to buy knives son behalf of the force.  

Positively, all 14 retailers visited complied with legislation and did not serve the test purchasers.

Officers in Wakefield and Calderdale also conducted engagement events to warn residents and young people about the dangers of carrying weapons.  

Calderdale Police also seized weapons including six zombie knives, two machetes and two hatchets as well as Class A drugs in an operation in Halifax.  Two males were arrested for possession with intent to supply drugs and weapons offences. 


Meanwhile, police in Kirklees have been conducting sweeps of rural areas in Dewsbury and Huddersfield for bladed weapons, and also attending places of education to carry out knife crime prevention work. 

Operations in Huddersfield town centre saw officers from the Huddersfield Town Centre Proactive Team seize knives, baseball bats and drugs as well as make an arrest in two operations with a drugs dog.  

Colleagues in Leeds also conducted a number of extended patrols to prevent knife crime as well as their own test purchasing.

Neighbourhood policing and specialist Jemlock officers were also active in schools to try and raise awareness among young people of the dangers of carrying knives.

Chief Inspector James Kitchen of Operation Jemlock, said: “Sceptre weeks continue to be a great opportunity for us to focus resources from across the force to bolster significant amounts of ongoing work to reduce knife crime.

“Proactive patrols, arrest operations and other activity in this latest Sceptre has seen officers make over 80 arrests and carry out sweeps of public areas for discarded and hidden blades, with some dangerous weapons recovered.

“Operations with the UK Border Agency are particularly valuable as through close work with them we are able to track illegal weapons being imported into the country and stop these dangerous, illegal items from ever hitting the streets.

“There is no justifiable reason for someone to want to own a flick knife or a knuckle duster and we have taken action against persons trying to import these products”

He added: “I want to thank policing colleagues and partners for all their support over the Sceptre Week.  Results such as the test purchase in Wakefield in which every shop we visited complied with legislation by not selling knives to juveniles were really heartening and show the progress we are making.

“As we have said, knife crime has been stable and starting to fall in West Yorkshire and it is really important we continue to  work in partnership with communities to make it unacceptable in society to carry bladed weapons.”

Director of the West Yorkshire Violence Reduction Partnership (VRP), Detective Chief Superintendent Lee Berry said: “Some excellent results have been achieved across West Yorkshire during the latest Sceptre, and this work perfectly compliments the significant amount of knife crime prevention work ongoing with partners in communities.

“Nearly 25,000 young people under 24 have been engaged with in just the last year through our programmes with partners.  

“It is this work and support from communities which will be key in the long term from deterring young people from ever wanting to carry weapons of the sort officers recovered in this operation.” 

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