Police across the North West have seized a total of 180 knives, swords and other prohibited weapons and carried out a week of targeted activity to tackle knife crime.
Officers across the North West regions have been gathering data over a prolonged period resulting in this week of action (2nd-5th December), targeting those intent on importing knives and other dangerous weapons.
This coordinated crack-down, led by North West Regional Organised Crime Unit (ROCU), saw officers from Cheshire, Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Merseyside and North Wales come together where collectively, over 100 ‘cease and desist’ letters were issued, aimed at educating potential buyers of illegal knives and discourage further offending, 180 weapons seized and one person arrested.
This follows a month of activity where specialist officers intercepted parcels containing knives and weapons, which are illegal in the UK.
Officers from the ROCU’s Regional Disruption Team (DT), which specialise in disrupting organised crime networks, worked with the six North West Police Forces alongside Border Force, Royal Mail and other partner agencies to help reduce the number of illegal weapons being imported into the North West from overseas.
Supt Graeme Robson from Merseyside Police said: “The importation of any weapon is a criminal offence and this week has proven that some individuals are intent on bringing these into our communities, to potentially harm those living across Merseyside.
“The message is clear – don’t do it. It won’t be Royal Mail knocking at your door, it will be an officer and we will do everything we can to ensure those wanting to buy weapons online, bring them into our households and cause fear in our towns will be put before the courts and given the sentence they deserve.
“Knives, swords, knuckle dusters – we’ve seen them all. It isn’t right that young people growing up in Merseyside should face this sort of behaviour or think this is in any way normal and that’s why we need to continue working together with our neighbouring forces and Border Force to seize these weapons before they have the opportunity to be used in, what could be, a fatal attack.
“I am pleased with this week’s result, but it won’t stop there. We are determined to locate more of these weapons, stop retailers from selling them and provide young people with positive alternatives to ensure they do not fall into a life of crime.”
Detective Superintendent Ryan Davies from the North West ROCU said: “Thanks to this intelligence-led, co-ordinated operation a significant number of knives and weapons have been seized and won’t make it to the streets of our region, where they can cause serious harm.
“This operation is a powerful example of how collaborative working is making a difference in the fight against serious and organised crime in the North West.”
“Be warned, anyone who is thinking about buying knives or weapons either online or by any other means from overseas. You are committing an offence by bringing them into the country. You face the full force of the law if you do so.”