Operation Sceptre was launched in July 2015, with the aim of reducing knife crime and the number families affected by knife crime across the whole of London. Operation was purposely designed to coincide with new legislation that means that those convicted of carrying a knife for the second time will face a mandatory custodial sentence. According to the CPS, ’16 and 17 year olds will now face a minimum four month Detention and Training Order for their second offence of possession of a knife or offensive weapon (for adults the mandatory minimum sentence is six months)’.
Section 28: Minimum sentence for second strike knife possession. Section 28 of and Schedule 5 to the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015 (CJC Act) create a minimum custodial sentence for those aged 16 and over convicted of a second or subsequent offence of possession of a knife or offensive weapon, contrary to section 1 of the Prevention of Crime Act 1953 or sections 139 and 139A of the Criminal Justice Act 1988.
Operation Sceptre seeks to target not only those who carry and use knives, but also the supply, access and importation of weapons.
During Operation Sceptre the police conducted 5791 Weapon Sweeps and 700 Test Purchase operations in shops that sell knives.
In 6 weeks, they carried out a total of 4565 stop and searches which resulted in 793 arrests. The operation has resulted in a total of 2294 arrests, 473 of which were for possession of a knife or weapon. The removed a total of 1435 weapons from the streets of London.
Officers from the Trident & Area Crime Command created and delivered four ‘educational packages’ to young people in schools across London. For more info on ‘Safer Schools’ click here.
“The packages aim to help young people think about the decisions they make, and the consequences of their actions with the aim of deterring them from joining gangs and getting into a life of crime.”
Operation Trident, or simply Trident, is a Metropolitan Police Service unit originally set up in 1998 to tackle gun crime and homicide in London’s Afro-Caribbean communities following a series of shootings in the London boroughs of Lambeth and Brent. The new Trident Gang Crime Command was launched incorporating responsibility for tackling wider gang crime. In 2013 the unit gave up responsibility for investigating fatal shootings which was taken over by the Homicide and Serious Crime Command.
In an effort to take knives off the streets The Met Police are working with Word 4 Weapons – a charity that has 30 knife surrender bins located at various sites across London. There are also bins available at a number of police stations.
Knife bins can also be found throughout London as part of the Met’s effort to take knives off the streets. A map showing the location of the bins is available on the Met website at www.met.police.uk/StopKnifeCrime