Operation Sceptre runs from Monday 9 to Sunday 15 November 2020 and will see an increased focus to prevent and detect weapons being carried on the streets across the county. During this period, police will be carrying out a number of proactive measures in areas including Medway, Thanet, Maidstone and Sheerness, from knife arches in public areas to a greater use of targeted stop and search.
Detective Superintendent Mike Worrall said: ‘Operation Sceptre is a national campaign which takes place twice a year and is an extension of the relentless work our officers already do to reduce the impact of knife crime in communities. Whilst the entire country is currently facing new restrictions this won’t stop the small minority of people who choose to carry knives and blades on our streets. This simply will not be tolerated and arresting and prosecuting those who do so remains a force priority.’
Activity will involve partners including British Transport Police at train stations, as well as UK Border Force in an initiative to track so called ‘Rambo’ or ‘Survival’ knives, ordered online from abroad. Although not illegal to import, such knives are often linked to gangs and street violence. Officers will use information provided for intelligence purposes and to carry out visits to addresses where it is believed a vulnerable person may require support or safeguarding.
As well as targeted measures to remove unwanted knives from the streets, throughout the week officers will be providing educational inputs at schools to reassure young people they are safer not carrying knives and walking away from harm.
Det Supt Worrall added: ‘We will not be complacent when it comes to knife crime and it is important that we continue work with young people from an early age. Carrying a knife, even for protective purposes, puts you at greater risk of becoming a victim yourself. Ensuring we remove these weapons from our streets also enables us to tackle associated offences such as county lines drugs supply. Enforcement will see both uniformed and plain-clothed officers carry out extra patrols to detect and deter habitual knife carriers.’