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National Week of Action to Tackle Knife Crime launched

Operation Sceptre is an initiative to tackle knife crime. The week is an opportunity for the Wales Violence Prevention Unit to work with partners in policing to raise awareness about the opportunities to prevent knife crime.

Throughout the week of action, the 43 police forces in the UK will coordinate activity looking to target the root causes of knife crime. There will be focus on the different strands of education, engagement, prevention and enforcement, all of which are important in playing our part to reduce knife crime.

The Wales Violence Prevention Unit is working with South Wales Police to raise awareness about the dangers of carrying a knife, through their #NotTheOne campaign.

Data from South Wales Police shows that knife carrying is rare, with only 1 in 100 young people doing so. The #NotTheOne campaign aims to highlight this rarity, whilst encouraging young people not to be the one by highlighting the dangers and impact on family and friends.

From conversations with young people in areas where knife crime offences have occurred the most often in South Wales, feedback showed that those who do carry a knife are motivated by fear. Young people also said that if they had concerns about knife crime, they would most likely report this to a teacher, parent, or trusted member of the community.

The early-intervention campaign aims to educate 11-16 year olds on the dangers and consequences of carrying a knife, by providing teachers, parents, and other trusted adults with an educational pack of information.

As well as quizzes, lesson plans and fact sheets, the campaign materials include three videos which demonstrate the very real, dangerous and devastating consequences of carrying a knife. The ‘In Conversation’ series includes interviews with two victims of knife crime and the parent of a knife crime victim.

“There are no positives to carrying a knife, and if you do carry a knife you are much more likely to have one used against you.

“There is a tremendous amount of work taking place to make Wales safer, but to solve the problem, everyone must be a part of the solution. If you are concerned about your own, a friend’s or loved one’s behaviour, there are people you can talk to 24/7, for free, confidential and non-judgemental advice and support.”

Jason Herbert, Police Lead for the Wales Violence Prevention Unit

“Knife crime has a devastating impact on individuals, families and communities. During the pandemic we saw a decrease in knife enabled offences and we must use that momentum to continue to make our streets a safer place.

“Operation Sceptre will give a week of national focus on knife crime, forces across the country will work together with schools, hospitals, charities and other partner agencies, utilising every available tactic to make sure knives don’t make it on to our streets.

“There are no positives in carrying a knife and it is clear that knives do not keep you safe, by carrying a knife you are only putting yourself at greater risk.

“We want those who may be carrying a knife out of fear to come forward and speak with an adult that they can trust such as a police officer, a youth worker, a teacher at school or by calling Crimestoppers.”

National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for knife crime, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Graham McNulty

If you are a parent, teacher or community leader and you have concerns about knife carrying or crime then you can download all the resources from the dedicated campaign website: www.nottheone.co.uk

If you are aware of anyone who carries a knife or have concerns that someone you know may carry a knife, please report it to police or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

In an emergency, call 999.