MORE than 100 knives and dangerous weapons were recovered by police during a week of action aimed at reducing and preventing knife crime on Merseyside.

Operation Sceptre, which ended on Sunday (May 19) was a national campaign to target those carrying weapons, prevent knife related offences and raise awareness of the dangers of knife crime.

During the week of action, a knife and weapons surrender took place at 10 police stations across Merseyside, including two on Wirral.

In total, 100 weapons were handed in, which included swords, flick knives and other bladed articles banned under the Offensive Weapons Act.

A number of proactive operations took place across the region to tackle and prevent knife crime, including a number of stop searches, weapons sweeps, search warrants and knife detection arches deployed, resulting in the seizure of an additional 13 knives, taking the total number of knives recovered to 113.

Test purchase operations were carried out at various stores across Merseyside to spot check age compliance with the sale of knives, with the support of Merseyside’s Police Cadets. Of the 45 retail premises visited, 43 challenged the underage Cadets for identification before refusing to sell the items.

The retailers were given support and advice to ensure future compliance, will undergo a review of its underage sales policies and be subject to further test purchases.

During the week, police also took part in 18 community and school events where they engaged with hundreds of young people. Officers spoke to young people to educate them about the dangers of carrying a knife and the potential impact of doing so.

A major conference also took place which saw the Police and Crime Commissioner, Emily Spurrell, and Chief Constable, Serena Kennedy, unite with more than 120 healthcare professionals to focus on working closing together to prevent serious violence including knife crime.

The Merseyside Violence Reduction Partnership (MVRP) held a number of initiatives, including 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 twice-yearly operation involves all 43 police forces in England and Wales and British Transport Police and builds on the prevention and enforcement work police carry out all year round to combat knife crime.

As a result of proactive policing and education, supported and delivered by partner organisations, Merseyside Police have reported '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 (Office of National Statistics).

Inspector Laura Leach, the force's deputy lead for serious violence and knife crime said: "Sceptre builds on our ongoing partnership work with schools, retailers and organisations, who all support our clear objectives as a force: to reduce and prevent knife crime and the harm it causes to communities.

"The results from this week of action are encouraging and highlight what our officers do on a regular basis to tackle this issue. 113 dangerous weapons are now off the streets of Merseyside and cannot fall into the wrong hands.

"As police officers we see first hand the devastation brought about by knife crime and will continue working tirelessly to prevent other lives from being taken.

"That's why the work of our Safer Schools Officers, Violence Reduction Partnership, and volunteers such as the police cadets, are so important to help educate the public of the dangers of knife crime and spread awareness.

"While we have weeks of action like this to tackle knife crime, it is a year-round focus for the force. Through targeted uniformed patrols in hotspot areas, using powers such as Serious Violence Reduction Orders (SVROs) and working hand in hand with partners, we are consistently working to reduce and disrupt serious violence in Merseyside.

"The public play a key role in this too. If you have any information which could support us, including who is carrying, using, or storing knives or weapons, please come forward so we can continue to disrupt offenders and bring them to justice.”

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: .