Thousands of knives have been seized and surrendered in a week-long crackdown on blade culture, figures revealed today.
Police arrested 2,131 suspects as part of Operation Sceptre, with 604 arrests relating specifically to knife crime, between April 26 and May 2.
Officers confiscated 758 knives and another 6,792 were surrendered or recovered from weapon sweeps.
Action included setting up “knife detection arches” in schools and railway stations, visits to primary and secondary schools and spot checks on shops and supermarkets to make sure stores were not selling weapons to under 18s.
The crackdown included 1,906 retailer visits and 367 test purchases.
The National Police Chiefs’ Council knife crime spokesman, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Graham McNulty, said: “Knife crime can have a devastating impact on communities across the country and we are doing all we can to remove weapons from our streets, target those carrying knives and prevent young people being drawn into violence.
“Enforcement is a crucial part of what we do but understanding the root causes and bringing in others outside of policing to help people is extremely important.
“We can’t tackle this alone.
“Police forces come up with ways to target knife crime during this week of action on top of work they do all year round.
“Families are affected by knife crime every single day and we want our communities to feel safe and prevent these incidents from happening in the first place.”
Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “Every knife taken off our streets means fewer communities ripped apart by the scourge of senseless violence.”
Children’s Society chief executive Mark Russell said: “Knife crime shatters young lives and while action to make the streets safer is important, for this to be sustainable it must go hand in hand with a focus upon understanding why children are carrying knives.”
The Mirror is campaigning to End the Knife Crime Epidemic.