Sussex Police have joined a major campaign aimed at reducing the number of people who carry knives.
During a dedicated week of action, which started yeaterday (Monday July 17), Sussex Police have joined with other forces to carry out enforcement activity, including test purchase operations, hotspot patrols, knife surrenders and arrest of outstanding offenders.
Police school officers will visit schools and colleges across the county.
The aim of the campaign is to demonstrate the consequences for anyone caught carrying a knife.
The key messages for young people and children who may be unaware of their actions are: get caught with a knife and you could face a prison sentence of up to five years - that’s just for possessing a knife in a public place.
If you hurt someone there will be other charges to answer and you could go to prison for longer.
The consequences are more far reaching with the impact of a criminal conviction on a person’s family, or the chances of a university education, finding a job or even travel abroad.
Chief Inspector Simon Starns said: “Young people need to know that carrying a knife for protection is not a lawful excuse, it will increase the chance of it being used against them. The police often caution first time offenders for other types of offences but if anyone is involved in an incident where they’re carrying a knife and fear is caused or there is a degree of danger, the premeditated possession of a knife means they are much more likely to be charged. It’s just not worth the risk.”
Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne added: “I hope this week of national action goes a long way to warn anyone, especially young people, of the consequences of arming themselves with a knife.
“Although the force sees less than one crime a day in Sussex where a knife is involved, it is reassuring to know they are not complacent about knife crime.
“There are amnesty bins located at police stations around Sussex, so if anyone has a knife they want to dispose of, I would urge people to make use of them.”