OFFICERS in Kidderminster have been educating the public about the dangers of knife crime as part of a national campaign.

Police used a knife arch at Kidderminster Railway Station yesterday (Wednesday, September 18), in support of the national knife crime surrender initiative, Operation Sceptre. 

Whilst the rate of knife crime in West Mercia is still roughly half of the rate seen nationally, there were still 158 incidents of knife related crime, reported over a three month period.

Inspector Dave King said: “The aim of the knife surrender, which is a national initiative, is to help prevent unwanted knives from getting into the wrong hands and being used in crime.

“Members of the public will be asked to walk through the arch at Kidderminster train station today which works in a similar way to airport scanners by detecting metal.

“Knife bins which can be used to surrender knives and there is one be situated at Kidderminster Police Station and I would encourage people to use it please.

"We want to reassure our community that we are doing our utmost to catch people carrying knives and that we are also actively tackling organised crime.

“In support of the surrender throughout the week local teams will be carrying out warrants, utilising stop and search powers along with enhanced patrols in hotspot areas and community weapon sweeps.

"I would like to send out a clear message that it is not acceptable to carry knives, and that doing so could have fatal consequences.

"Our officers are also working closely with schools in the area to try and deter young people from carrying knives by educating children about the dangers and consequences.

"These are relationships that we really value, and I would like to thank our partners who are assisting with the activity we are carrying out this week.”

PCC John Campion visited the knife arch at the railway station, today, along with Wyre Forest MP Mark Garnier.

John Campion said: “Knife Crime is a cultural issue we need to tackle as a society.

"I’m pleased that the rates in West Mercia remain low, and reassured by the work to prevent knife crime in terms of education and tacking the root causes of crime, and also through the enforcement approach when incidents do occur.”