A CRACKDOWN on knife crime is underway in North Yorkshire.

North Yorkshire Police say they are joining police forces across the country this week in an operation focused on knife crime.

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Detective Superintendent Jon Sygrove, from North Yorkshire Police, said: “The message needs to start in schools - education and engagement is such an important aspect of dealing with the issue. We sometimes hear there’s a perception among young people that ‘everyone is carrying a knife’, but that’s just not true. And in fact carrying a knife can mean you’re more likely to have it used against you.

“Ultimately, tackling knife crime is complex, and the police cannot do it alone. It takes partnership working to stop the sale and supply of knives solely intended to harm, understand the drivers behind knife carrying, identify opportunities to focus on current and potential knife-carriers, find and seize weapons and support our communities to feel safe.

“Our operational and engagement activity this week is just a snapshot of the hard work that goes on all year round, by the police and other organisations, to take knives off the streets, and stop them ending up in the wrong hands.”

The force says that each year there are two extra ‘weeks of action’ which bring together all forces in a concerted effort to highlight our ongoing activity.

They’re part of Sceptre, which is UK policing’s overall approach to dealing with knife crime.

In addition to robust enforcement and amnesty bins to get weapons off the streets, the week of action will include visits to schools, to make sure young people understand that there are no benefits to carrying a knife – only terrible dangers.

This week our Schools Liaison Team will visit schools in Harrogate and Selby alongside award-winning author Christina Gabbitas. Their message is clear: carrying a knife never makes you safer. In fact, it’s the exact opposite.

If you are worried about someone carrying a knife, please tell a family member, a teacher or youth worker, a police officer, or report it to the police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

Knife amnesty bins have also been placed in some police stations, with members of the public urged to dispose of any unwanted knives safely. Wrap them in thick paper or cardboard as a safety precaution, and bring them to Fulford Road police station in York, Scarborough, Malton, Northallerton, Harrogate or Skipton Police Stations. You can simply deposit the knife in the bin, without having to give your name or any other details. (A permanent knife amnesty bin is also in place in Harrogate, between Asda car park and the Dragon Road car park).