Knife arches to be used at Essex train stations
11 March 2019, 08:05 | Updated: 11 March 2019, 08:07
Knife detection arches will be used at some of Essex's train stations this week - as part of a knife crime crackdown.
Police in the county are taking part in a week-long national campaign called Operation Sceptre.
Tackling knife crime and getting weapons off our streets will be the focus.
There will be high visibility patrols and intelligence-led stop checks, and weapons sweeps to find weapons that criminals may have hidden for later use.
Knife crime awareness events are being held too.
Essex Police say they will also continue their work with schools, colleges, and youth organisations to educate children and young people about the dangers of carrying knives.
Violent crime has increased by 35 per cent in Essex in a year, from 40,032 offences in the year to the end of January 2018 to 54,064 offences in the year to the end of January 2019.
Essex Police’s Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Paul Wells said: "Sadly, we’ve seen an increase in knife nationally and an increase in violent crime here in Essex - and I understand this affects how safe people feel.
"However, it’s also important to note that less than eight people in every 1,000 here in Essex will be a victim of a violent crime with injury.
"Driving down violent crime remains one of our top priorities, but tackling the underlying issues is complex and is a battle that we as a community must fight together.
"We know knife and violent crime is closely associated with gangs and drugs, but also with domestic abuse.
"Those who are involved in gangs or organised crime carry knives and other weapons because of the threat of violence that hangs over them. Arresting them is not always a deterrent.
"We need to educate our children about whether that’s the kind of life they want to lead - carrying weapons, always looking over their shoulder and being not only at risk of getting hurt but facing the consequences of hurting someone else.
"Tackling knife crime involves more than just enforcement. It is a community responsibility, which is why we work with other organisations within the criminal justice system, our community safety partnerships, charities, schools and community groups to try and educate people to prevent knife crime happening in the first place.
"Information is also really key. If you know someone who carries a weapon or have information about drugs or gangs, for example, tell us.
"We can then take action against those people."