CHESHIRE Police is supporting a national campaign to reduce the number of knives on streets in the county.

Over this week, the force will be using enforcement and prevention tactics such as stop and searches and weapon sweeps as part of Operation Sceptre to reduce the impact of knife crime in communities.

Cheshire has one of the lowest rates of knife crime in England, but statistics show that the number of knife-related offences committed in the county increased by nearly six per cent from the year ending in December 2019 to the year ending in December 2018.

And this is a statistic the force is determined to reduce.

Chief inspector Sarah Heath, Cheshire Police’s knife crime lead, said: “Nationally knife crime is a growing problem, and the week-long Operation Sceptre campaign is an initiative that Cheshire Constabulary is always more than happy to support.

“However, knife crime is an issue that the force tackles throughout the year.

“We take knife crime extremely seriously and are proud of the fact that Cheshire has a lower rate of knife crime than most other counties in England.

“When people carry knives, it is only a matter of time before someone suffers life changing injuries or is killed, and if you carry a knife then you are much more likely to be involved in a knife crime.

“Carrying a knife doesn’t make you safer and the consequences can be devastating for all those involved.

“We work together to educate young people about the dangers and futility of carrying weapons, steer them away from criminality and offer them attractive alternative ways to spend their time.”

The enforcement and prevention tactics that forces can choose to use during Operation Sceptre also includes intelligence led action against habitual knife carriers and test purchase operations.

However, the increasing difficulties caused by the coronavirus pandemic will inevitably restrict the work that can be done during Operational Sceptre next week.

Chief Inspector Heath added: “The current climate is presenting difficulties for everyone, but it will not stop us from continuing our work to tackle knife crime and to protect the people of Cheshire.

“We will continue to stop and search anyone suspected of carrying a weapon and to use all of the powers at our disposal to combat weapon enabled crime.

“Our goal is to achieve weapons-free streets throughout the county and we will continue to endeavour – through education, awareness and action – to make Cheshire an area where no-one carries a knife or feels that there is a reason to do so.

“However, the police cannot achieve this goal on our own. Knife crime is a societal problem that cannot be solved without the support of the whole society.

“If you have any information regarding knife crimes or those who carry weapons, please let us know.”

Retailers are also urged to have robust controls on the sale of blades, such as kitchen knives.

To report any type of crime involving weapons, call Cheshire Police on 101, or 999 in an emergency.

Information can also be passed to the force online via

Anyone who knows someone that carries a knife can report it to Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111 or via