A weapon sweep was carried out in Ramsgate’s Boundary Park, this morning (November 14) as part of Kent Police’s activities for Op Sceptre, a national initiative to tackle knife crime.
Operation Sceptre, is a national campaign which takes place twice a year in May and November. This month the campaign launches today (November 14) and runs until Sunday 20 November. The scheme includes the use of weapon sweeps, search warrants, educational sessions and promotion of the amnesty bins.
The Op includes eight knife amnesty bins that were installed across the isle in 2020 by Thanet District Council’s Community Safety team, in partnership with Kent Police and Kent County Council’s Violence Reduction Unit. The bins were funded by the Kent and Medway Violence Reduction Unit.
The bins are part of a wider strategic approach to the reduction of knife crime in Thanet, with the aim of encouraging people to dispose of unwanted knives safely and without fear of prosecution.
The bins are located at:
- The Kings Steps, Marine Drive Margate
- Buenos Ayres at the junction of Station Road, Margate
- Elham Close, Margate
- Tomlin Drive, Margate
- Lloyd Road at the junction of High Street, Broadstairs
- Madeira Walk at the junction of Albion Hill, Ramsgate
- Boundary Road at the junction of Hardres Road, Ramsgate
- Station Approach Road at the junction with the alley leading to Stephens Close, Ramsgate
The bins were installed in areas deemed to be knife crime hot spots. They are emptied every three months by the council’s Community Safety Team and Kent Police, with help from the Street Cleansing Team. Since their installation, the teams have recovered 1,069 knives. When emptied in October, 169 knives and other dangerous weapons were collected. The next collection is planned to take place in January 2023.
The Community Safety Team is currently working alongside partner agencies to develop ideas on how the knives could be used to create something harmless and positive, once safely collected.
As part of a campaign to raise awareness of the knife amnesty scheme, a poster design competition was launched by the Community Safety Team, in partnership with the Violence Reduction Unit, Kent County Council and Kent Police. The competition was announced at the start of the academic year in September. Pupils in years 7-13 from schools across the district, were invited to submit original designs to be featured on the bins.
In total, the competition received over 100 entries and eight winning designs were chosen from pupils attending St George’s, Hartsdown and King Ethelbert schools. At an awards ceremony which took place at the council’s Cecil Street offices this month, the eight winners were announced, and each presented with a £50 multi-store gift card. Each of them will now see their design printed on one of the eight bins. Everyone who submitted a design has been awarded a certificate.