Northumbria Police have urged the public that ‘there’s always a choice’ after the North East force joined a nationwide campaign to reduce the impact of knife crime around the country.

Earlier this week, the police launched a week long project named Operation Sceptre and it’s hoped the project can help the region clampdown on the number of knife crimes that take place both in the North East as well as further afield.

The scheme has also been designed to help get more knives off the streets as well as also ensuring police officers are able to go into school classrooms to show young people that carrying a weapon is not the correct decision to make.

“I think we all have a moral obligation to work towards ending knife crime and tackling this type of offending is very much a priority for Northumbria Police,” said Assistant Chief Constable Neil Hutchison.

“During my career I have seen first-hand the devastating impact knife crime has and this type of criminality has no place in our communities.

“Thankfully, here in the North East we see lower levels of knife crime than comparative areas of the country – but we are far from complacent and are committed to playing our part in ensuring this remains one of the safest places in the country.

“Our officers work day in day out to reduce the impact of knife crime and to help divert young people away from violence.

“We want them to know there is always a choice and they should never feel they have to carry a weapon as the consequences are extremely serious.”

The project will also see an increase in patrols as well as more random weapon searches being carried out.

Extra surrender bins have also been installed across the North East as part of the pledge too, designed for members of the public to safely dispose of any potentially dangerous weapons or blades they may own.

“This week, we are also encouraging people to drop off any unwanted items into our secure surrender bins,” added Assistant Chief Constable Hutchison.

“These could be old kitchen knives, antiques you found in an attic, or something you once brought home from holiday and want to dispose of safely so they never run this risk of falling into the wrong hands.

“Our officers will be executing warrants, carrying out searches, seizing harmful weapons and anyone caught in possession of a knife will be arrested.

“The community can be reassured this activity is not a one-off but an extension of our ongoing work in this area.”

Northumbria Police are asking anyone with information regarding someone who is in possession of a weapon or knife to get in touch with them using the Tell Us Something page on their website or calling via 101, with Crimestoppers also being contactable anonymously by ringing 0800 555 111.