351 weapons seized in East Sussex during week of action
Sussex Police seized 351 weapons in East Sussex during a knife crime week of action.
The dedicated week of action went ahead as part of Operation Sceptre from November 15–21 aimed to tackle knife crime and serious violence.
According to police a total of 351 weapons were seized across East Sussex through a combination of amnesty bins, weapon sweeps and stop searches.
Police say officers conducted 195 stop searches and made 41 arrests during the week, as well as engaging with more than 3,000 people on the dangers and consequences of knife crime.
Chief Inspector Simon Yates said, “Our intensive week of action to tackle knife crime and serious violence yielded fantastic results, with hundreds of dangerous weapons seized and multiple people arrested.
“As well as the enforcement, we also engaged with hundreds of people at schools, community events and via our knife crime engagement van, highlighting the dangers and consequences of carrying and using a knife.
“This was a real team effort bringing together dedicated officers from across the force including the Roads Policing Unit, Specialist Enforcement Unit, Tactical Enforcement Unit, Neighbourhood Policing Teams, Neighbourhood Enforcement Teams, dogs unit and investigations.
“Our work to tackle knife crime doesn’t stop once the week of action ends; we will continue to proactively tackle offenders and use initiatives to help prevent serious violence and keep our communities safe.”
Police confirmed in Brighton and Hove arrests were made for various offences including possession of an offensive weapon, failure to attend court, dealing Class A drugs, robbery and threats to kill.
Three people were also arrested on suspicion of vehicle theft after officers from the Specialist Enforcement Unit recovered three stolen vehicles.
Police say officers also carried out a joint operation with British Transport Police and Govia Thameslink Railway to install knife arches at Brighton railway station. More than 3,600 people passed through the arches and four knives were seized as a result.
In Eastbourne, two arrests were made for intent to supply Class A drugs after 50 wraps of crack cocaine and heroin were recovered, police say.
Police confirmed officers on patrol in Hastings arrested a 16-year-old boy after recovering a catapult during a stop check, and a number of weapons were also seized from an address in the town following a warrant.
A 17-year-old boy was arrested and charged with possession of a bladed article and assaulting an emergency worker following reports of a person with a knife at Ravenside Retail Park in Bexhill. The boy was remanded into the care of the local authority.
Work with schools also meant more than 1,000 children and young people receiving educational visits from neighbourhood youth officers.
Ch Insp Yates said, “Our message is simple: carrying a knife does not make you safer. It puts you at increased risk of harm and you could end up with a criminal record if you’re found in possession of a weapon.
“There is help out there for those who do not feel safe, and we always have amnesty bins in police stations where you can drop off blades so they can be safely disposed of.”
To talk to someone anonymously, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. You can contact the police online or by calling 101 – always dial 999 in an emergency.