Prestonians who know of someone carrying a knife have been urged to report it to police.Advertisement
Operation Sceptre is likely to see police searches stepped up as part of a nationwide crackdown on knife crime.
The city has seen the impact of knife crime in recent months and years – with the stabbing of a man in the city centre in February seeing two youths appear in court and the high profile murder of Jonjo Highton in Deepdale in August 2014.
Chief Inspector of Lancashire Police Mark Baines said: “Too many families have been affected by knife crime with even one person being stabbed being one too many. The consequences of carrying and using a knife can be devastating and potentially life-threatening.
“I would appeal directly to people that if you know someone who is carrying a knife, don’t keep silent. Report it.
“The law is simple – it is illegal to carry a knife, even if it belongs to someone else.
“Anyone who is found carrying a knife and is intending to use it as a weapon – even in self-defence can be arrested, go to court and receive a police record or even a prison sentence of up to four years and an unlimited fine.”
Read more: Significant number of violent incidents triggers police response in Preston
Lancashire Police said they were considering a knife amnesty in the coming months following campaigns in 2014 and 2016 which saw knife bins set up at police stations during 2014 and 2016.
Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw said: “Knives are potentially lethal weapons and I fully support Lancashire Constabulary’s bid to get them off our streets.
“No-one should live in fear of knives being used in their community. I have funded a range of projects to help stop people getting involved in knife crime – from a hard-hitting film to show to our county’s young people to projects that work with vulnerable people to steer them away from crime.”
Anyone can report information about the possession of knives to the police on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800555111.