Leicestershire Police officers visited towns across the county yesterday (Wednesday 21 June) to raise awareness of force’s #LivesNotKnives campaign.
Neighbourhood officers set up stalls in Market Place in Hinckley, Belvoir Centre in Coalville and Loughborough town centre near to McDonalds, and spoke to members of the public about the dangers of carrying a knife.
Passers-by were given the opportunity to walk through a mobile knife arch, similar to those found in airports, to demonstrate how they can act as a deterrent to carrying knives when it is used in pubs and clubs or at large public gatherings.
They were also given information leaflets and red wristbands inscribed with “#LivesNotKnives – make the right choice” and embossed on the inside with the Crimestoppers phone number, which can be used for confidential reporting. The wrist bands proved particularly popular with young people, who are a key target group for the campaign.
Sergeant Glen Iceton, the force’s lead on knife crime, who organised the events, said: “Despite the heat, we spoke to a large number of people and we were extremely well received by the local communities and nearby businesses. I would particularly like to thank the lady in Coalville who bought us bottles of water to help us out in the hot weather.”
The pop-up events were part of the force’s ongoing #LivesNotKnives campaign which aims to highlight the dangers of carrying a knife and the potential four year prison sentence if caught.
Shane O’Neill, Superintendent of Local Policing, said “Operations like this discourage knife carrying and go some way to reducing the number of potential victims of knife crime.
“Carrying a knife is a serious crime. The force is committed to reducing knife crime and we hope that, through education and engagement, we can raise awareness of the dangers this can bring with those carrying knives and their friends, families and peers.”
Glen White, senior IMPACT worker at Leicestershire County Council, said: “It was great to see officers from Leicestershire Police out and about raising awareness on the hugely important issue of knife crime.
“The council’s youth offending service work with young people at risk of carrying weapons and knives. We offer education programmes to try and lead them away from this path.
“It is vital that on a local level we work in partnership with police and other agencies to try and prevent young people carrying and using knives.”
For more information about knife crime, the law, and FAQs visit our knife crime page.
Source:: Leicestershire Police News