Cheshire Constabulary is cracking down on knife crime as part of the force’s ‘StreetSafe’ initiative.
Officers will be out targeting individuals wanted for violence and carrying weapons as part of the county-wide campaign. They will also be targeting those people who believe carrying knives is acceptable.
Action will be taken against anyone found in possession of a knife and any information gathered from the public will be assessed and acted upon.
Local Policing Superintendent, Peter Crowcroft said: “The damage caused by knives, not just to the victim and their families but also to the wider community, can be devastating. Carrying a knife is a crime which brings that added risk that a minor issue can escalate into something much more serious.
“The laws are quite simple. It is illegal to carry a knife in a public place without good reason, if you break that law you could face up to four years in prison and an unlimited fine.
“It is also illegal to sell knives, including kitchen knives and even cutlery, to anyone under the age of 18. That is why I’m keen to remind retailers who sell knives to enforce the Challenge 25 policy, as breaking this law can result in an unlimited fine or up to 6 months in prison.
The Constabulary’s StreetSafe initiative tackles issues linked to public space violence, anti-social behaviour and the night-time economy.
The activity coincides with a national knife crime operation, which starts on 1 May, aimed at educating people about the laws surrounding buying and carrying knives.
At a local level, officers will not just be enforcing the law but also educating the public about the possible dangers involved in carrying knives, and the consequences of this.
Superintendent Crowcroft added: “This is not just a week-long operation but part of what we do every day. We take all crimes involving knives - or any type of weapon - extremely seriously and I want to reassure the people of Cheshire that we are doing all we can to tackle the issue. It’s not just about enforcement – it’s also about education. The Constabulary has invested in initiatives, which aim to deter people from carrying knives and highlighting the impact they have.
“We also work closely alongside partner agencies across the county to share information and tackle any identified problems.
“While the force remains committed in its pursuit of those who believe they are above the law and ensuring they are held to account for the crimes they have committed, we firmly believe that prevention is better than cure and will continue to do all we can to try and prevent people from carrying knives in the first place.”
Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire David Keane said: “The impact of knife crime can be devastating and it can have significant effects on victims and all those involved. The public of Cheshire want to feel safe in their communities and it is pleasing to see the commitment the Constabulary is giving to tackling knife crime in Cheshire.
“I would like to assure the people of Cheshire that this type of action will continue, as the Constabulary works hard to make our communities safer.
“We are keen to reach out to members of the public who may have information about knife crime in their local area and I would encourage anyone with any information to have the confidence to come forward and report it to police.”
Anyone with any information about knife crime in Cheshire is urged to call 101. Information can also be left anonymously, via Crimestoppers, on 0800 555 111.
To follow the work officers carry out to protect communities from knife crime under the StreetSafe initiative follow @CheshirePolice and the local policing accounts or #StreetSafe