50 KNIVES were taken off the streets in East Lancashire as part of a national week of action aimed at tackling knife crime.

It was part of Operation Sceptre which came in response to continuing incidents across the country including a number of recent fatal stabbings, which means knife crime remains in the national spotlight.

During the week officers carried out: knife crime test purchasing, crime prevention talks to local schools and then a knife surrender.

There were 147 knives seized across the county with 50 in East Division, 70 in South which includes Chorley, and then 27 in West. Also there were four failures in test purchase operations.

Chief Inspector Steve Anderton said: “We are pleased with how the week has gone but there is more to do. Lancashire Constabulary is being really pro-active about how it tackles knife crime. We are continuing to raise awareness of the dangers of carrying a knife among children and young people, regularly visiting schools to talk to students about the dangers of carrying a knife.

“We have a zero-tolerance policy towards knife possession, and anyone who is found to be in possession of a knife could face up to five years in prison. Selling a knife to or buying a knife for anyone under the age of 18 is a criminal offence and we work closely with our partners at trading standards to educate retailers.

“Nationally, young people who end up in hospital with a knife injury have usually been stabbed with their own knife – carrying a knife puts you at risk. You don’t have to use the knife to get a criminal record – just being in possession of a blade in public is illegal."