A week-long police operation is to be launched today to tackle knife crime in South Yorkshire.
Operation Sceptre will involve officers carrying out land searches to look for discarded and hidden weapons.
They will also use knife arches to identify those carrying blades in public places.
Extra street patrols will be carried out and youth engagement activities are planned in a bid to educate young people on the dangers and possible consequences of carrying knives.
Detective Superintendent Una Jennings, South Yorkshire Police’s lead officer for armed criminality, said the operation is aimed at reducing the number of victims, increasing the rate of offenders ‘brought to justice’ and educating young men on the consequences of carrying a knife.
Launching the week of action, which forms part of a national campaign, Det Supt Jennings said: “Over the course of the last 18 months we have fundamentally changed out approach to tackling knife crime in South Yorkshire.
“We have a plan, a good plan, an evidence based one, and one we have confidence in. Indeed, we are beginning to see some early indications it’s working.”
She added: “We know attitudinal change – shifting the mindset of our young people in particular – is essential. That they get a sense from their families, communities and, crucially, their peers, that carrying a knife is unacceptable.
“We know that if you carry a knife you are over three times more likely to become a victim of knife crime; and getting this message across, by whatever means we can, especially to young men, is essential.
“That said, let me be clear - knife crime has no place in our communities and for those who refuse to listen, expect to be stopped, expect to be searched, expect to be arrested and prosecuted.”
The senior detective added: “South Yorkshire is and continues to be a wonderful place to live and work in. Please support us in protecting those most at risk of knife enabled crime and help us keep your communities safe.”