Officers launch knife crime initiative

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Police in St Helens will continue a series of high visibility patrols following a spate of stabbings in the town.

Officers will be joining colleagues from across the UK so the initiative was planned in specific response to the recent knife attacks in St Helens.

However, they do follow on from an operation carried out over the weekend in the town centre in which officers used mobile metal detectors to scans for revellers carrying weapons.

That operation was prompted by the fatal stabbing of 20-year-old Ryan Lamb following an incident at a takeaway in St Helens.

Three men have been arrested but released in connection with his death.

Officers will be using a variety of tactics in identified hotspot locations across Merseyside which include using knife wands and knife arches.

They will also be offering guidance, support and advice as well as visiting licensed premises and carrying out high visibility patrols.

A number of knife amnesty bins will also be at locations including Huyton and Kirkby police stations.

Chief Inspector Keith McLachlan said: “We have had a number of high profile incidents recently involving knives but I want to reassure the public that we are committed to reducing violent crimes and making sure our streets stay safe.

“Work is ongoing to combat the issue of knife crime but this week of awareness allows us to get the message out to the public about what we are doing.

“Violent crime - including knife crime - does have devastating consequences for the victim and their families and our officers have worked within schools across Merseyside to educate young people about the dangers of becoming involved in knife crime and the impact it has on the community.

“Our knife crime statistics are in line with national statistics and we have had notable successes in making arrests.

“We also have a fantastic reputation nationally for being a safe place to visit and Merseyside Police is committed to ensuring this continues.”

Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Jane Kennedy added: “Any incident involving a knife rightly causes concern to our communities.

“Merseyside Police takes a very robust approach to anyone caught carrying a knife and the recent changes to the law means that those arming themselves with knives can expect even tougher sentences.

“Knife crime ruins lives and can have a devastating impact on the whole community.”