OPERATION SCEPTRE: Shock array of blades found, seized & handed in during week-long knifecrime blitz
THE shocking array of deadly weapons being carried by children and youths across Britain was laid bare as police forces across the country joined forces to try to stem the country's knife crime epidemic.
Teenagers and young adults were found with machetes, zombie knives and Rambo knives and even firearms during a week-long countrywide operation, which ended on Sunday (May 2), aimed at reducing knife deaths.
Parks and streets used by violent gangs across the country were also scoured for blades and other weapons last week, while stop and search and surveillance of prolific offenders was intensified.
Officers across all forces searched bushes, ditches and alleyways for weapons hidden by gang members so they can be quickly produced when violence erupts.
The effort followed a series of high profile knife murders and stabbings in the days before including a 14-year-old charged with the murder of another 14-year-old and two girls being seriously injured after being stabbed by a gang of boys.
SEARCH: Police scour undergrowth for weapons during Operation Sceptre (Twitter)
Last Wednesday the Met Police Task Force tweeted that "Stop and search works" after finding a 15-year-old boy armed with a machete (top left) in the Hackney area.
The tweet said: "Officers have detained a 15-year-old male on a pedal cycle, after a chase, and found this concealed in his waistband."
He was later charged with possession of a bladed article.
Dubbed Operation Sceptre, police forces also used knife arches to find people in possession of blades and held knife amnesties, while police officers went into schools to try to warn children of the dangers of getting involved with gangs, drugs and knifecrime.
The Border Force also intensified pressure on weapons smugglers.
Football coach Tunde Fadayomi, 40, was stabbed to death as he tried to protect his son, 14, after a row on a bus in Willesden, north-west London, last Thursday evening.
The killer is said to have calmly walked off after the attack.
On Sunday, April 25 a girl, 16, and her 17-year-old female friend were stabbed in West Norwood, with the younger girl left in a serious, but stable condition.
A 16-year-old boy was later charged with attempted murder.
LETHAL: Knives recovered during Operation Sceptre (Met Police/Twitter)
Two days before the attack Fares Maatou, 14, was stabbed to death in Canning Town, east London, with another 14-year-old boy later charged with his murder.
Total figures for the number of knives found, seized and handed in and arrests made will be released this week, however, individual forces have been posting images of social media of their searches taking place and some of the array of weapons found.
On Thursday police in Chelmsley Wood, Solihull, tweeted an image of 23 knives that officers said had been handed in by just one person.
A man stopped by Cheshire Police in Widnes Town Centre was found to have 47 wraps of heroin on him and a meat cleaver hidden in his bedroom
Individual police stations across London tweeted an array of finds and seizures all week.
Graham McNulty, National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for knife crime, said: “Coronavirus has been a huge part of everyone’s lives for over a year now but we want to remind people that our normal policing role hasn’t stopped during this time.
“Forces are determined to tackle violent crime and with the restrictions easing, taking knives off our streets and helping people understand the dangers of carrying a knife remains a top priority.
“Our work with Border Force, Trading Standards, the Violence Reduction Units and many other partners means we are able to tackle some of the significant underlying causes of knife related violence."