RESIDENTS across Wrexham and Flintshire have been urged to do their part to tackle knife crime in our communities as part of a week-long police campaign.

This week North Wales Police will once again be joining police forces up and down the country to support ‘Operation Sceptre’ – a week-long national campaign aimed at tackling knife crime.

Coordinated by the National Police Chief’s Council (NPCC) Operation Sceptre is a national week of action which runs from May 13 to 19 May and brings all 43 police forces and British Transport Police together for a coordinated period of intensification to tackle knife crime, a large contributor to violent crime in the UK.

As part of the week-long operation, people are being encouraged to leave unwanted knives in amnesty bins at police station front counters and at some recycling centres across north Wales.

Anti-knife campaigner Danny Maddocks - whose 34-year-old brother Craig was murdered in a knife attack at the Cambrian Vaults pub in Wrexham almost 11 years ago - has urged parents to speak to their children about knives.

He said: "It's good to hear North Wales Police are continuing to tackle knife crime.

"If anyone knows someone who is carrying a blade, let's see if we can get a few more off the street.

"I'd urge people to speak to their children; don't be afraid to ask them if they know someone who is carrying knives.

"It's like I've said before, if you're willing to carry a knife, you're willing to use one."

Mr Maddocks is continuing his work educating schoolchildren - and is due to carry out activities at a school in Runcorn this month, in an expansion of his OnThe KnifeEdge awareness project.

The Leader: Craig Maddocks' family (L-R) sister Lisa, brother Danny and mum Edna with a framed picture of CraigCraig Maddocks' family (L-R) sister Lisa, brother Danny and mum Edna with a framed picture of Craig (Image: Staff)Shotton-based campaigner Edwin Duggan told the Leader: "Op Sceptre is really good and the police do it twice a year.

"I would like to see that widened to all-year-round.

"I am working with the Ben Kinsella Trust to develop an education package to take across North Wales into the schools - we are hoping that should start after summer.

"Youngsters predominantly carry knives because they're scared of bullies or gangs.

"Unfortunately, the very knife they're using can be used on them.

"The message is not to carry one in the first instance."

Inspector Geraint Richards of North Wales Police said: “We must ensure that we are doing everything we can to reinforce the message that carrying a knife is unacceptable and that no good can come from carrying one.

“Every incident involving a knife has consequences for all those involved, and so this is an issue we take extremely seriously.

“We take a robust approach to anyone found to be illegally in possession of a knife or bladed article on the streets and I would encourage everyone to take the opportunity to rid yourselves of any unwanted or illegal weapons by taking them to our knife amnesty bins which are located at our police station front counters.

“Knives are dangerous and there is no place for them on the streets of North Wales. Carrying knives or other weapons do not keep you safe. By carrying a knife, you are putting yourself in much greater danger, and more likely to become involved in a violent situation and get injured yourself.

“Retailers have an important role to play in tackling knife crime by ensuring that knives are not falling into the wrong hands. With this, officers will be visiting local retail stores to “knowledge check” staff regarding the sales of knives and the ‘Challenge 25 ID’ approach.”

The Leader: Edwin Duggan and a stock image of a knifeEdwin Duggan and a stock image of a knife (Image: UGC/Pixabay)A large part of the police’s work is out in communities and schools; educating young people on the impact that knives can have not just on individuals, but on families and communities through education programmes such as SchoolBeat. 

This work will continue throughout the week with School Community Police Officers vising schools and colleges to highlight the risks and consequences of carrying a knife.

Inspector Richards added: “We are also asking parents, guardians and extended family members, to talk to young family members about knife crime as you can play a vital role in preventing them from becoming involved. 

"We advise you try and talk to them openly about the dangers, as well as the life-changing consequences that come from carrying a knife."

Changes to legislation brought about by the Offensive Weapons Act 2019 means that it is now an offence to possess certain items such as knuckledusters, throwing stars and zombie knives, even in private.

Other sections of the act include an updated definition of flick knives to reflect changes in weapon designs, and the banning of private possession of flick knives and gravity knives.

If you have concerns about someone you know or care about, who is carrying or hiding a knife call the Police on 101 or CrimeStoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111, or the Fearless campaign website . Always dial 999 in an emergency.

Unwanted knives can be disposed of in special amnesty bins which are permanently placed at police station front counters in Wrexham, Mold and Deeside.

Amnesty bins will also be located at the following recycling centres:

  • Bryn Lane Household Recycling Centre, Wrexham
  • Lodge House Recycling Centre, Brymbo
  • Plas Madog Household Recycling Centre, Wrexham
  • Greenfield Recycling Centre