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180 weapons seized during regional knife crime operation

Police across the North West have seized a total of 180 knives, swords and other prohibited weapons and carried out a week of targeted activity to tackle knife crime.

From 2-5th December, the North West Regional Organised Crime Unit (ROCU) coordinated a week-long crackdown on knife crime with police officers from Cheshire, Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Lancashire, Merseyside and North Wales.

During the week, over 100 cease and desist letters were issued across the North West. These notices aim to educate potential buyers of illegal knives and discourage further offending.

This follows a month of activity where specialist officers intercepted parcels containing knives and weapons, which are illegal in the UK.

Officers from the ROCU’s Regional Disruption Team (DT), which specialise in disrupting organised crime networks, worked with the six North West Police Forces alongside Border Force, Royal Mail and other partner agencies to help reduce the number of illegal weapons being imported into the North West from overseas.

Detective Superintendent Ryan Davies from the North West ROCU said: “Thanks to this intelligence-led, co-ordinated operation a significant number of knives and weapons have been seized and won’t make it to the streets of our region, where they can cause serious harm.

“This operation is a powerful example of how collaborative working is making a difference in the fight against serious and organised crime in the North West.”

“Be warned, anyone who is thinking about buying knives or weapons either online or by any other means from overseas. You are committing an offence by bringing them into the country.  You face the full force of the law if you do so.”

Nine packages headed for addresses in Cumbria were seized.

The total number of items seized were: nine flick knives, one extendable baton and two knuckle duster-knives.

Four of the packages were headed for addresses in north Cumbria, three in west and two for the south of the county.

Each case was dealt with by way of a “cease and desist” warning letter.

These notices aim to educate potential buyers about illegal knives and discourage further offending.

Inspector Kim Brennand said: “We can confidently say that in Cumbria we do not have a specific knife culture or youth gang culture.

“But we are never complacent about an issue as serious as this.

“This operation has led to items being seized that no longer have the potential to cause serious harm.

“Those involved were dealt with by way of cease and desist letters as this was deemed the most appropriate and proportionate way of dealing with these matters.”

Breakdown of results:

Force Arrests Cease & Desist Letters issued Total weapons seized Split down
Cheshire 0 11 17 Swords – 3

Knuckledusters – 3

Knives – 7

Batons – 3

Throwing Star – 1

Cumbria 0 9 12 Knuckledusters – 2

Knives – 9

Batons – 1

Greater Manchester 0 35 74 Swords – 10

Knuckledusters – 15

Knives – 25

Batons – 24

Lancashire 0 28 37 Swords – 6

Knuckledusters – 15

Knives – 6

Batons – 9

Throwing Star – 1

Merseyside 1 13 33 Swords – 5

Knuckledusters – 19

Knives – 3

Batons – 6

North Wales 0 3 7 Knives – 3

Swords – 1

Knuckleduster – 3

Total across the North West 1 109 180  

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