A WEEK of action tackling knife crime is underway on Wirral as part of a national campaign.

The public can hand in their bladed weapons as part of a knife surrender, taking place from today (Monday, November 13) until Sunday.

There are drop-off points at Birkenhead and Wallasey police stations.

The surrender coincides with the national knife crime campaign, Operation Sceptre, and the force’s ongoing work to tackle knife crime and make communities safer.

Changes to the Offensive Weapons Act 2019 now make it illegal to possess offensive weapons in a private place, including your home.

A number of offensive weapons are included in the legislation such as flick knives, knuckle dusters, zombie knives, stealth knives, swordsticks, swords with a curved blade of 50 centimetres or more in length and even blowpipes or blow guns.

This week will also see enhanced activity including weapons sweeps, open land searches, stop searches and community outreach with young people and partners.

The force’s recent investment of 140 handheld metal detecting wands will be used to support stop and search powers and take weapons off the streets of Merseyside.

According to Merseyside Police, there has been a 15% reduction in knife crime and a 13% reduction in serious violence offences over the  last 12 months.

In hotspot areas, serious violence has reduced by 27% this financial year to date (April – October 2023).

Inspector Laura Leach, deputy lead for serious violence and knife crime, said: “Reducing knife crime in Merseyside is a priority for the force all year round. We understand the devastating impact it can have on individuals, families, and wider communities.

“Every knife surrendered is one less potentially dangerous weapon on the streets of Merseyside. We are calling on anyone with any of these weapons in their possession to turn them in.

"This surrender will help us keep unwanted knives out of circulation and out of the hands of criminals who could use them for serious violence and knife-enabled crimes.

"Many weapons are held in innocence or ignorance of their illegality. Legislation introduced in 2019 makes it illegal to possess dangerous weapons in your home, including knuckledusters, zombie knives and death star knives.

“Both serious violence and knife crime are falling in Merseyside, but we know there is still work to do. This surrender, alongside increased proactive policing, will help us tackle these issues head on, and work with partners to understand the root causes of knife crime, carrying a weapon and serious violence.”

Knives can be handed in at Birkenhead Police station on Mortimer Street in the town (Open Monday to Friday, 10am to 6pm) or Wallasey Police Station on Manor Road in Liscard (Open Tuesday to Friday, 10am to 6pm) 

If you have information about someone carrying a knife, or know someone involved in crime, you can report any concerns on 999 if a crime is in progress, via 101, or our social media desk via Twitter @MerPolCC.

You can also pass information via Crimestoppers anonymously, on 0800 555 111 or via their online form at: https://crimestoppers-uk.org