14 knives and 800kg of weapons taken off streets in police week of action

Police seized 14 knives and recovered recovered 791kg in weapons in Essex in a week

Police seized 14 knives and recovered recovered 791kg in weapons in Essex in a week - Credit: Essex Police

Almost 800kg of weapons were recovered and 14 knives were seized in a police week of action aimed at tackling violent crimes in Essex.

As part national Op Sceptre week, which focuses on anti-knife crime work, officers from Essex Police worked alongside Border Force to seize four weapons which were destined for addresses in the county, including a knuckleduster and a blade disguised as a bracelet.

Police made 10 arrests, carried out 74 stop and searches and executed nine warrants last week.

As well as the arrests and seizures, police carried out 25 weapons sweeps and spoke with pupils at a number of schools on the dangers of knife crime.

A total of 791kg of weapons were recovered from voluntary surrender bins across Essex in the week.

Essex Police also revealed one shop in Colchester failed a test purchase when a child was able to buy a retractable knife unchallenged.

The store was given a verbal warning by officers.

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In the year to October 2021, there were 283 fewer incidents compared to the same timeframe in October 2020.

The number of possession of weapons reports year on year also dropped by more than 15%, with police linking the fall to work by Essex Police Op Raptor officers.

Detective Superintendent Lewis Basford, of the Essex Police Serious Violence Unit, said: "Knife crime causes devastation for families and communities. At Essex Police, we have a relentless focus on driving it down – and the gang and violence which sadly often comes with it.

"But enforcement, although very important, is only one element of our work and throughout the intensification week we visited a number of school and young people’s groups to talk about the dangers of knife crime and to tell them clearly that carrying a knife is never the answer to any problems they may have.

"Knives do not offer the protection they may believe it does. All they do is devastate lives.

"In Essex, we are incredibly lucky to have so many partners, such as the Essex Violence and Vulnerability Unit, who believe the same as we do and help is on offer to any young people, or their families, who are at risk of being groomed into a life of crime."