A week of action to tackle knife crime is today being launched by North Yorkshire Police.
Det Supt Steve Thomas, who is the operational lead for knife crime in North Yorkshire Police, said: “Reports of tragic and life changing incidents involving knives and weapons have been in the headlines in recent months which reminds us how all too easily a life can be taken away by someone’s reckless choice to carry a knife.
“We would like to reassure the residents of North Yorkshire that they live and work in one of the safest places in England, and levels of knife crime in are low, but we are not complacent.
“This week we are supporting a national campaign to keep our county this way.”
The co-ordinated week of action is taking place across the country from today to Sunday.
Sgt Neil Northend, who oversees Youth Engagement for North Yorkshire Police, said: “The North Yorkshire Police Youth Team will be raising awareness through schools with young people about the dangers of carrying knives, providing safety advice and signposting messages both online and directly in the community.
“The majority of young people in North Yorkshire do not carry, or think of carrying, a knife so we want to focus on those who are thinking of doing so, by providing that early engagement, support and diverting them away from doing so.
“It is not just young people we would like to educate about the dangers knives can pose if they get into the wrong hands.
“We are also encouraging friends, families, schools and members of the community to ‘Speak Up’ as they too can also play their part in raising awareness of the dangers of carrying knives and being involved in knife crime.”
Throughout the week of action, officers will be partnering up with Trading Standards to undertake test purchasing operations in local retailers to test their compliance with knife sale regulations to under 18s.
Officers will also be carrying out high visibility patrols and targeted enforcement work with the British Transport Police to tackle transport hubs.
Online, the force will publicise messages on social media.
Det Supt Steve Thomas said: “I have witnessed first-hand the devastation knives can have on people’s lives – not just the victim but their friends, families and the perpetrator as well.
“There is no place for knife crime within society.
“This operation is designed, not only to remove knives from the streets but also to educate young people around the dangers of carrying a knife or weapon in public.
“We ask everyone to play their part in taking these weapons off our street and keeping North Yorkshire safe.
“If you have information about someone carrying a knife in your community or information about where knives are being sold illegally, I would urge you to contact police on 101, or pass information to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
“Your information could save a life.”