As knife-crime perpetrators find themselves behind bars, Wiltshire Police are hoping to further blunt the impact of knife crime in Swindon and Wiltshire with a week of action. 

Sceptre – a national knife crime campaign aimed at reducing knife-related violence and educating people on the dangers - has launched as part of the year-round anti-knife crime initiative. 

During this week, starting from Monday, May 13, to Friday, May 19, officers from across Wiltshire Police will continue their work to tackle knife crime and use it as an opportunity to educate the public on the dangers of carrying a weapon.

As well as enforcement work, officers from different teams will be conducting targeted activity including weapons sweeps, test purchasing operations and school visits in conjunction with specialist charities.

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Searches for hidden weapons are being carried out across the countySearches for hidden weapons are being carried out across the county (Image: Wiltshire Police)This comes following the high-profile sentences of murderers Shane Cunningham who was given life in prison for stabbing to death teenager Mikey Roynon and Vincent Sparkes who was also given life for stabbing to death Neil Bambrick

In January this year, Tyler Hunt and an unnamed 15-year-old were also given mandatory life sentences for stabbing teen Owen Dunn to death

Reducing violence across the county is a priority under Chief Constable Catherine Roper, and the latest figures show the volume of crimes involving knives/bladed articles in the 12 months to April 2024 has reduced by 5.6% compared to the previous year.

The arrest rate for crimes involving knives and blades over the last 12 months is 51%, an increase of 5.2% compared to the year before to April 2023.

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Knife arches are visiting local education establishmentsKnife arches are visiting local education establishments (Image: Wiltshire Police)

County Superintendent Doug Downing said: “Knife crime has a devastating impact on families and communities.

"There is no excuse for carrying a knife. Our message is simple, carrying a knife puts yours and other lives at risk. Our officers are committed to keeping people safe on our streets – anyone caught with a knife will be arrested and put before the courts.”

Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Wilkinson referenced the Mikey Roynon court case.

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Knife surrender bins have been installed in Swindon and DevizesKnife surrender bins have been installed in Swindon and Devizes (Image: Wiltshire Police)

He said: “This shows why we police forces, local councils, health agencies, police and crime commissioners and, most importantly, local communities, need to work together to combat knife crime.

As part of Sceptre, a new permanent knife surrender bin has been installed in Devizes at the Wiltshire Football Association HQ at Green Lane, which is the first in the county outside Swindon. 

These bins can be used by people to safely and anonymously discard any knives or weapons they are carrying.