Police in Lincolnshire are cracking down on knife crime as part of a national drive to take weapons off the streets.
Operation Spectre, which begins on Monday, September 16, aims to increase awareness about the dangers of carrying knives.
Nationally, incidents involving knifes have risen by 8%. The national average number of incidents per 100,000 population now stands at 80.
This related heavily to assaults to cause serious harm (46%) or robberies (43%). Possession offences are up by 21%.
In Lincolnshire, the average number of incidents per 100,000 involving knives stands at 35 – a 15% increase. Locally, these incidents are also mainly either assaults to cause injury or serious harm (53%) or robberies (27%).
These assaults usually happen in domestic properties and involve people who know each other.
The local increase in possession offences is from 183 to 263 incidents – a 44% increase. During this same period, our police officers carried out 62% more stop searches for knives or bladed articles – from 110 searches to 178. An extra 20 weapons were found in the additional searches.
All figures relate to comparisons between 2017/18 and 2018/19.
Detective Chief Inspector Amy Whiffen, force lead for knife crime, said: “Lincolnshire is a really safe place to live and the vast majority of residents are highly unlikely to experience knife crime.
“That being said, we are attending more knife-related incidents and recovering more knives from our proactive stop-searches.
“Whatever the reason, carrying a knife means even the smallest situation can escalate into something much more serious or life-changing. Knife crime has devastating and lasting damage, not just to the victim and their families, but also to whole communities.”
Police and Crime Commissioner Marc Jones added: “A significant number of knife crimes end up with terrible consequences and we must do everything we can to educate people about the dangers of carrying knives.
“I will be challenging Government to recognise that rural areas are just as blighted by knife crime as urban areas and any extra funding should be made available to forces like Lincolnshire too.”
If you know someone is in possession of a knife or has made threats to use one, please call 101.
You can also make a report anonymously by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or visit: crimestoppers-uk.org