More than 140 weapons seized in West Sussex during police action week
A police operation to tackle knife crime has proved successful in West Sussex.
Hundreds of dangerous weapons have been taken off the streets of Sussex during a dedicated week of action in November, Sussex Police said.
"In West Sussex, the operation saw officers seize quantities of drugs as well as knives, including a block of heroin in Worthing with an estimated value of £6,000," a police spokesperson added.
"Other seizures include a knife from a 16-year-old boy by officers patrolling Littlehampton railway station, and a knife from a man in Southwick who was threatening to harm himself.
"He was safeguarded and referred to support agencies as a result of the intervention."
Police said test purchases were also carried out at 22 businesses, all of which passed.
Police forces across the country took part in Operation Sceptre — a national campaign of education and enforcement aimed at tackling knife crime and serious violence — from November 15 to November 21.
In Sussex, officers seized 496 weapons — 145 in West Sussex, 96 in Brighton and Hove, and 255 in East Sussex — through a combination of amnesty bins, weapon sweeps and stop searches.
Police said officers conducted 195 stop searches and made 41 arrests during the week of action, as well as engaging with more than 3,000 people on the dangers and consequences of knife crime.
Click here to read more about arrests made in Brighton and Hove, Eastbourne, Hastings and Bexhill.
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. This was through a combination of proactive patrols, warrants, amnesty bins, stop searches and weapon sweeps.
"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.
"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.