Sussex Police carried out a week of raids and patrols to crack down on knife crime as part of a UK-wide initiative.
Operation Sceptre, a nation-wide scheme that happens twice a year, aims to highlight the issue of knife crime and engage in proactive patrols to target known offenders.
Chief Inspector Simon Yates, the force’s lead for knife crime and serious violence, said, “The bottom line is: knives take lives.
“They are extremely harmful things in the wrong hands, and it is crucial that we make people in the community aware of this.
“Operation Sceptre is focused on educating people about the dangers of knives. Many young people carry knives thinking it will make them safer, and it is our job to inform them that it actually does the complete opposite making them more likely to be a victim themselves.
“In the last week we have been visiting schools with youth officers, showing the children educational videos to try and stress this point home to them.
“We’ve developed a game based on the dangers of carrying a knife. It puts young people in hypothetical situations involving them and a friend carrying a knife, and educates them on the risks and the penalties involved.”
As part of Operation Sceptre, Sussex police also carried out a number of pro-active searches, with both plain and uniformed officers, targeting habitual knife carriers and sellers.
One raid focused on a home in Bexhill, which was believed to be the base of suspected illegal knife sales.
“Today (November 20) we’ve executed a number of warrants throughout Sussex. One just occurred in Bexhill, after we received intelligence suggesting that its owner was illegally importing and selling knives.
“The warrant was executed and the address raided, and it was found that there were no illegal weapons on the property.
“Some could see this as a negative thing, but I actually find it very reassuring. It sends a message to the community that we take seriously the intelligence we receive, and hopefully it acts as education to potential sellers that legislation must be adhered to.
“Knife crime is tackled in many different ways. Sussex police look at importation, often with intelligence provided from the UK Border Agency. We also get intelligence from people in the community, and we look on various websites like eBay and etsy to find potential illegal sellers.”