Weapons seized and 49 arrested in operation to target knife crime

Six weapons were seized

Six weapons have been seized and 49 people arrested during a Kent Police week of action to target knife crime.

Between May 1 and May 7 officers targeted areas in Thanet, Gravesend and Maidstone as part of a joint initiative with other forces.

High visibility patrols were completed in town centres and suspects were stopped and searched.

There were three arrests for possession of a bladed article and two for an offensive weapon. In total, six knives were seized.

Arrests were also made for offences including possession of Class A drugs with intent to supply, assault and public order.

Knife arches

Metal-detecting knife arches were placed at the entrances to Margate, Ramsgate and Gravesend train stations where officers worked with rail enforcement officers to deter offenders who enter the county carrying weapons. Checks were also made on coaches travelling into Kent.

Officers also visited schools where they placed knife arches at the entrances and discussed the dangers of carrying knives with the children.

Supermarkets and other retailers received a visit from officers, and staff members were reminded of their responsibilities regarding the sale of knives.

Superintendent Tim Cook said: “Knife crime across the county remains low compared to other areas, but we are not complacent and it remains a priority to tackle those who think it is acceptable to carry knives on our streets.

“A number were found in possession of weapons in connection with other criminality, such as the supply of drugs, and were arrested.

“Overall, our message remains very simple. If you choose to carry a knife in Kent, even if you feel it’s for your own protection, you are likely to get arrested, prosecuted and will receive a tough punishment. Possession of a knife can carry a prison sentence of up to four years, even if it’s not used.

“We continue to seek help from the public and ask that they report anybody who they see carrying a knife or other weapon. By continuing to work together we ensure Kent remains a safe place to live and criminals know they have no hiding place from the law if they carry weapons.”

Call 101 to report anything suspicious, or 999 if it’s an emergency. Alternatively call Kent Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.