Fight against weapons on our streets continues

Knife crime and violence is a priority and concern for us, as we’re sure it is for you.

The consequences are devastating and far too often we hear of tragedies where people are threatened, injured or killed as a result.

We’ve been supporting a Home Office weapons surrender scheme since December last year which allows people to hand over weapons that will become illegal later this year.

The government has added 22 knives and a number of previously legally owned firearms and ancillary items to the list of banned weapons.

The scheme allows people who may have owned firearms or bladed weapons legally, to identify if they need to be handed in.

It’s all in a bid to help save lives by reducing the number of potentially dangerous weapons from getting into the wrong hands and being used in acts of violence.

To date 50  weapons have been handed in under this scheme.

But we’re not stopping there - as well as all the work we’re doing to tackle youth violence and those carrying weapons – we’re now also targeting the importation of prohibited weapons.

We recognise that this new banned list will make it harder to buy these weapons in the UK and this may drive people to buy online from other countries, our advice is: don’t.  We are ready to effectively deal with these imported weapons.

Working with Border Force as part of an national effort to reduce access to imported prohibited weapons we are intercepting parcels destined for the West Midlands at the point of entry into the UK. Code-named, Operation Nebular, we are currently intercepting around 30-40 packages containing prohibited weapons each month that were destined for addresses within the West Midlands at the border when they have been ordered online. It’s all in an effort to reduce the risk they can pose to our communities.

PC Dan Thomas from our dedicated violence reduction Project Guardian team said: “We’re committed to help save lives by reducing the number of potentially dangerous weapons from getting into the wrong hands and being used in acts of violence.

“But we can’t do it alone, so we’re also encouraging parents to be mindful – would you know if your child was ordering a weapon? Are you able to check what’s been ordered on your online accounts? What would you do if you found out your child had ordered a weapon?

“We know many young people who carry weapons do so because they feel they have to for protection. But if you carry a knife you’re more likely to end up using it – often resulting in devastating and life changing consequences for all those involved.

“It’s also timely to remind parents to check their kitchen drawers and knife blocks to make sure they are all accounted for. We know many of the young people we stop, who are in possession of knives, have taken them from there.

“I’d urge you to do your part in keeping the West Midlands safe and visit our website to find out more about our surrender and what to do if you think you know someone who is carrying a weapon."

Click here for more information about which weapons will become illegal and how to surrender them until 9 March.

We’re doing all we can to tackle violence in our communities. We’ve set up a dedicated website which contains information for young people, parents and teachers on how address concerns about knife crime. This includes honest and candid interviews from people affected by knife and gang crime and can be found here.

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