A WEEK of action aimed at tackling knife crime has been launched in Wirral today (Monday, May 13) as part of a national campaign.

As part of Operation Sceptre, police will be deployed across the borough to deter offenders and provide reassurance to communities, with a particular focus in hotspot areas where crime is most likely to occur.

Officers will also be proactively monitoring individuals with live Serious Violence Reduction Orders (SVROs) and carry out stop searches when they are in a public place.

Merseyside Police say the region has seen 'significant' reductions in both serious violence and knife crime, with 263 fewer victims of serious violence in the last year alone.

Knife crime has also fallen by 18.6% for the year ending September 2023 compared with the previous 12 months, according to the Office of National Statistics.

This week, the public can also hand in a knife, bladed article or other offensive weapon safely at police stations in Birkenhead and Wallasey. For more details, click here: https://www.merseyside.police.uk/police-forces/merseyside-police/areas/campaigns/campaigns/2024/may/knife-surrender/

In November, 170 weapons were handed in by the public across Merseyside, which included swords, flick knives and other bladed articles banned under the Offensive Weapons Act.

To mark the week, a major conference is taking place today where the region’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Emily Spurrell, and Chief Constable, Serena Kennedy, will join more than 120 partners to look at the role healthcare professionals can play in helping to prevent serious violence.

Many of the Merseyside Violence Reduction Partnership (MVRP)’s initiatives will be running throughout the week, focused on preventing knife crime and educating young people.

This includes a StreetDoctors session at Wirral Youth Justice Services focused on teaching young people how to save lives using a new first aid e-learning app which explains how to stop a potentially life-threatening bleed.

The MVRP’s Mentors in Violence Prevention training which empowers young people to help prevent violence, bullying and other forms of abuse will be running at Pensby High School in Wirral on Friday.

Inspector Laura Leach, Merseyside's deputy lead for Serious Violence and Knife Crime said: “Knife crime has a devastating impact on families and communities. That’s why we are using this week of action as an opportunity to showcase the year-round work of officers and partners, to not only enforce but to prevent and engage with communities about the dangers of knife crime.

"There is no excuse for carrying a knife. Our message is simple, carrying a knife puts yours and other lives at risk.

"Our officers are committed to keeping people safe on our streets – anyone caught with a knife will be arrested and put before the courts.

"This week’s knife surrender offers a safe space to hand in any knives or bladed items, so we would encourage the public to engage with this and continue to report any information which may help us continue to tackle knife crime.”

Merseyside’s Police and Crime Commissioner Emily Spurrell said: “In the past year alone, we’ve seen knife crime reduce by 18.6%.

"This is hugely welcome, and it is testament to the hard work and commitment of Merseyside Police, our Violence Reduction Partnership and a wide range of partners, who are determined to prevent and reduce the use of knives and their potentially devastating consequences.

"But even one knife incident is too many and that’s why we’re committed to tackling the use of knives all year round. Through robust enforcement, but crucially also by working to tackle the root causes of serious violence.

"Key to this is education and awareness-raising. By listening to our young people and engaging with them we are putting positive interventions in place to steer them away from a path that could lead to serious violence."

Anyone with any information or concerns about knife crime can report it to Merseyside Police or Crimestoppers anonymously. Call 101, direct message @MerPolCC on X (formerly known as Twitter) or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.