Greater Manchester Police - Photo by ilovetheeu

Greater Manchester Police supporting national operation to tackle knife crime

  • Operation Sceptre is national week of action aiming to reduce the number of people carrying weapons
  • Week-long operation is being rolled out across all 44 forces in England and Wales
  • Local schools, shops and wider community being asked to play their part in helping raise awareness about dangers of knife crime

Greater Manchester Police are taking part in an operation to reduce knife crime in the city.

Operation Sceptre is a week-long programme which aims to educate parents in particular about the dangers of knives.

Knife crime has seen a year-on-year increase since 2015. There were around 20,000 assaults with injury and assault with intent to cause serious harm cases between March 2019 and March 2020 alone.

GMP has seen some success with the introduction of the Greater Manchester Violence Reduction Unit (VRU), but maintain that eradicating knife crime remains a priority.

Superintendent Chris Downey said: “Even during these unprecedented and challenging times we must ensure we’re doing everything we can to reinforce the message that carrying a knife is unacceptable and that no good can come from carrying one.

“With this, I am asking parents, guardians and extended family members, to talk to your young family members about knife crime as you can all play a vital role in preventing them from becoming involved with knife crime.”

Knife crime remains evident in Manchester with an incident occurring at the Middlewood Locks Co-Operative in Salford last month. A man was seen outside the store wielding a blade attempting to gain entry, kicking and slashing at the door.

One eyewitness and resident, Lynden Taylor, saw the events unfold.

He said: “I was well shocked, I mean I’m not ignorant to the fact that cities up and down the country have problems with knife crime, but for it to be on your front door step, it’s scary.

“I don’t see the need for people to be leaving their houses with a weapon or a blade, it’s the same principle as having a gun. What does anyone need a gun for nowadays? 

“I can’t say it’s blatantly obvious in Manchester though, it’s the first time I’ve seen anything.

“But it’s good that the police are doing something about what is out there, and I’m sure there’s way more than we’re even told about.”