FRONTLINE police officers in Devon and Cornwall Police have been equipped with a knife arch, a type of metal detector people are required to walk through, to help target knife carriers and seize concealed weapons as part of a national crackdown on knife crime.  

The knife arch will be used at known high-risk locations, but also as an engagement tool to help raise awareness around the dangers of knife carrying and educate young people at schools and colleges to prevent knife crime.

The Force will also work with partners in locations such as train stations, licensed premises and shopping centres to engage with the public.

The activity is part of Operation Sceptre, which is a national initiative to tackle knife crime, will run from today, Monday, November 13 to Sunday, November 19, and will focus on online knife retailers and responsible selling, raising awareness to parents and care givers to ensure they are aware of what packages are being sent to young people at home and educating young people about the stark dangers of knife carrying.

In addition to the use of the knife arch and school visits, activity for the week across Devon and Cornwall will include test purchases of knives with local retailers, targeting known knife carriers and providing knife surrender bins at various locations across the two counties.

The Force is encouraging retailers to be aware of who they are selling knives to and to ensure they are following the appropriate safety guidelines for legal selling and distribution.

A key focus of the week will be the delivery of education sessions in local schools to raise awareness around the consequences and dangers of carrying a knife.

Assistant Chief Constable Steve Parker said: “Tackling knife carrying is a key priority for Devon and Cornwall Police.

“The knife arch, operations such as Sceptre, and high visibility patrols in Devon and Cornwall are some of the ways we are preventing and reducing knife crime and educating young people about the dangers of carrying a knife.

“This week will allow us to continue to proactively engage with knife carriers and provide them with an opportunity to surrender knives. People often think they will be safer carrying a knife. This is simply not the case and they may be putting themselves, as well as others, in more danger.

“I am urging those individuals who carry knives to stop, put an end to this behaviour and surrender their knives at the bins provided at their local Police Enquiry Office.

“Knife crime destroys entire families and communities and tackling it remains an absolute priority for Devon and Cornwall Police. We will do all we can to remove knives from our streets and pursue those who chose to carry them and commit offences.”

If you have any information or concerns about someone carrying a knife, please report it to Devon and Cornwall Police online via the website: , or CrimeStoppers UK on 0800 555111. Your information could help save a life. 

For a list of locations of the knife surrender bins visit: .

Parents can seek advice about their child’s welfare at: Parent Talk - Support for Parents from Action For Children .

Retailers can visit this website for guidance on selling knives: .