Today, one month since the launch of Operation Deter, police have released figures to show how successful it has been.
The tougher new approach has led to 67 knife-enabled crimes being recorded by officers – an average of almost two a day.
Numerous arrests have been made and 22 people have now been charged. Some 16 of these have been remanded in custody, while 25 more people have been bailed with conditions while police investigations continue.
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Of those charged in July, seven offenders have been convicted. One man, 18-year-old Kalam Shah from Fullers Slade, was sentenced to 200 hours of unpaid work by Milton Keynes Magistrates’ Court.
These figures are a significant increase from June, the month before the clamp-down was launched. Then, 25 knife-enabled crimes were recorded with six people charged, 10 bailed, six released under investigation, one cautioned, and two released with no further action.
Operation Deter was launched by Thames Valley Police and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner on July 1, focusing initially on Milton Keynes.
It followed four murders in the city over just a 13-week period involving bladed weapons.
The main objective of the operation is to make better use of charging and remanding offenders aged over 18, ensuring that a robust message is sent to anyone found in possession of a knife in the city.
.Operational manager Detective Inspector Mark Hill, based at Milton Keynes police station, said: “These are very encouraging results in our first month of the operation.
“We have already seen a significant increase in the number of individuals charged and remanded to court, and we anticipate that this operation will continue to target those who seek to carry knives in public.
“Where an individual has been arrested and bailed pending further investigation, these bail conditions are strict, and make no mistake, we will actively seek to ensure that these knives are removed from our community.
“This zero-tolerance approach will continue and will be stepped up in the coming months and rolled out in other force areas.
“If you have any information or know of someone who is carrying a knife, you can report this to us on 101 or online, or for 100% anonymity, by calling the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”
Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Barber said: “I wanted to launch this campaign to have a big impact in a short amount of time within Milton Keynes and the results to date are showing that this is happening.
“Of course, we need consistency to ensure we keep acting swiftly to get knives off our streets.
“Thames Valley Police is working tirelessly to bring offenders to justice and I’m really pleased to see the initial results of Operation Deter reflect their hard work.
“I look forward to the campaign progressing and hope that people realise it is not acceptable to carry a knife in any circumstance.”