Operation Sceptre, a national initiative to tackle knife crime, will run from Monday 15 to Sunday 21 May 2023. All 43 police forces and the British Transport Police (BTP) will take part in intensified efforts to crack down on knife-enabled crime and violence.

As part of the activity being carried out in Dorset, the Firearms Team and the Safer Schools Community Team (SSCT) will provide education in schools around knife crime. Schools and educational establishments will be visited across the county, with officers being able to talk with young people in various educational settings.

In addition, Dorset Police is asking parents, guardians and extended family members, to talk to young people about the dangers of carrying knives.

Here are the top five tips for talking to young people about knives and knife crime:

  • Establish the most appropriate time and setting to have an open conversation about knife crime; it should be somewhere that everyone feels comfortable.
  • Be aware that a young person may be reluctant to talk to you about knife crime, so reassure them that they can be honest with you, as well as letting them know that you’ll listen to what they have to say and support them without judgement.
  • You should encourage them to share their fears and worries. We know that fear and a feeling of vulnerability is often the reason behind people carrying knives. Many young people feel the need to carry a weapon because they are afraid for their own safety and they believe a knife will protect them. So it’s important that they realise, that their chances of becoming a victim of knife crime actually increases if they carry one.
  • Encourage them to consider what consequences can come from it, such as being expelled from school, being sent to prison or even worse, someone tragically losing their life.
  • Remind the young person that they can tell a trusted adult, such as a parent, family member, or teacher if one of their friends is carrying a knife, or they can report their concerns anonymously through CrimeStoppers on 0800 555 111.

Temporary Superintendent Gavin House of Dorset Police said, “We take knife crime very seriously in Dorset and will continue to educate the public on the dangers of knife-enabled crime and violence.

”We are encouraging parents and carers to have conversations with young people around knife crime and the potential consequences of carrying a knife, such as being expelled from school, being sent to prison or even someone losing their life.”

For information and advice about knife crime, how to talk to young people about knives, or support in relation to knife crime, please visit one for the websites below:

Crime Stoppers.

Victim Support

Toolkit for engaging with children and young people around knives.

If you have any information about knife crime in your area, or someone you know is carrying a knife, please contact Dorset Police online at www.dorset.pnn.police.uk. In an emergency, always dial 999.