Officers across Cheshire have been praised for their work on a week-long operation tackling knife crime.
The constabulary took part in a national campaign, Op Sceptre, to tackle knife crime in communities in Cheshire.
Officers used stop and search powers and visited the homes of those who are known to be involved in knife crime as well as working with partner agencies, such as Trading Standards, to speak to shop owners about the Challenge 25 campaign to stop the sale of knives to under 18s.
Officers also went into schools across the county to talk to schoolchildren about the dangers of knives.
Superintendent Richard Rees said: “Knife crime is not an issue that is unique to Cheshire and it is worth reiterating that Cheshire has one of the lowest number of knife crime incidents in the country.
“However, any incident involving a knife has the potential to have fatal consequences which is why we are still working so hard with our partners to educate the public and young people to stop carrying knives.”
Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire, David Keane, said: “We have seen a huge effort from officers across the county taking action to help tackle knife crime.
“I’m pleased to see that a lot of effort has gone into educating youngsters about the issue and that we have been working closely with partners such as Trading Standards and Crimestoppers to spread those messages, as well as using stop and search powers and being proactive in taking knives off our streets.”
In Crewe officers put in place a section 60 order, which allowed officers increased powers to stop and search people in the Nantwich Road area of the town. As a result officers stopped 38 people and this resulted in three arrests – one for possession of an offensive weapon, one for drug driving and one for possession of drugs. There was an increased police presence in the area for the week with local PCSOs offering the community reassurance and officers from British Transport Police also taking part.
Over the course of the week two people were arrested for knife possession and 23 knives were surrendered at Crewe Police Station.
In Runcorn about 20 members of the local community took part in a knife sweep at The Knoll with officers which recovered six weapons, three other weapons, two marine grade flares and a mask.
A further nine knives were surrendered to Runcorn Police Station – helped by community group “Live Your Life Drop The Knife” who were very active in encouraging people to give up their knives - and three more were seized during incidents, resulting in 27 knives being taken off the streets during the week.
Widnes Local Policing unit worked with members of the local community to conduct a knife sweep in the Hough Green area.
A number of weapons were recovered from the area during the sweep which are now safely off the streets.
Joint working with trading standards around retail premises and educational inputs at schools were delivered to raise awareness around the issues relating to knife crime.
Acting on community intelligence, officers conducted three search warrants as part of the week of action and also completed a number of proactive stop searches.
Arrests were made during the week for a number of offences including possession of knives, offensive weapons and possession and supply of controlled drugs.
Chief Inspector Parsonage said “Knife crime remains a priority for us and we have seen some excellent results from this week of action.
"I want to reassure the local community that we continue to focus on this important area and ensure those who would carry weapons in Widnes continue to be targeted and brought to justice.
“I would encourage anyone with information on those involved in knife crime to contact the Police in confidence.”
Cheshire Constabulary is working extremely hard to eradicate this crime and is working in partnership with Crimestoppers, an independent charity that encourages anyone with information to contact them anonymously on 0800 555 111. Alternatively call Cheshire Police on 101 or submit information via our website on https://www.cheshire.police.uk/contact/general-enquiries/