A NEW crackdown on youth knife crime is underway in the county.

Wiltshire Police is supporting the week-long national Operation Sceptre initiative, which runs until Sunday 22 May and focuses on the latest revisions to the law.

These revisions include:

  • Changes to buying online, including the change in age verification
  • Changes to delivery by couriers, including increased age verification
  • Certain weapons which are now prohibited even in private homes

The week will combine operational police activity including a focus on informing young people, parents, carers, and schools and colleges about the efforts taking place to tackle violent crime.

It's part of the ongoing work of officers and staff with a wide range of stakeholder partners, including the two local authorities, public health, youth workers and charities, to come together to help prevent knife crime and protect young people from becoming caught up in violence and criminal gangs. 

Assistant Chief Constable Dave Minty said: "The latest Offensive Weapons Act has been introduced to help protect people from the often devastating consequences of knife crime. 

"Young people hear about it on the news, they talk about it at school, and we know some, because they tell us, would carry a knife for protection."

"This type of crime remains a police priority both nationally and in Wiltshire, although thankfully here the number of knife crimes remain comparatively low.

"However, that doesn’t mean we are complacent in our approach to prevent this type of crime from happening; for those it does affect - directly and indirectly - the consequences can be devastating."

He continued to say: "We know that knife crime often involves our young people, and - although most children and teenagers are not involved in criminal activity, nor would they ever dream of carrying a knife or bladed weapon - we know that possession of knives is on the rise nationally.

"Young people hear about it on the news, they talk about it at school, and we know some, because they tell us, would carry a knife for protection. However, carrying a blade means you are more likely to find yourself in a situation where you could get seriously injured or even killed."

"Any incidents of knife crime are a major concern but the public should be reassured that we will continue to vigorously investigate offences linked to any knives or weapons recovered."

If you have information about someone who carries a knife or is involved in knife crimes are urged to call the police on 101 or 999 in an emergency.

Information can also be left anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.