More than 100 blades were taken off the streets of Surrey during last week's Operation Sceptre, Surrey Police said.

Surrey Police thanked everyone who supported the project on announcing that a total of 108 weapons including scores of knives were handed in during Operation Sceptre, which included a knife amnesty, between March 11-March 18.

Knife banks were located at Woking, Guildford, Reigate and Staines Police Stations, giving knife carriers the opportunity to surrender weapons safely without questions being asked or fear of arrest or prosecution.

Police neighbourhood teams also went out into communities during the project, conducting knife sweeps, visiting schools and residents throughout the county to raise awareness about the dangers of knife crime.

Chief Inspector Mark Offord said that Surrey Police were determined to act decisively against knife crime in the county as knife crime incidents throughout the UK are becoming more frequent.

Mr Offord said: "We are determined to steer our young people away from a culture of violence and to break the cycle as we have seen the devastating effect knife crime has on people’s lives both across the country and here in Surrey.

"We want to reassure the public that while knife crime has risen, it remains low in Surrey and much of what does take place is related to drugs and gang activity.

We are working hard to tackle the threat of ‘county lines’ gangs who are using vulnerable people in our towns to spread their supply network."

The chief inspector added that there were steps everyone in the county could take to help police in their efforts to tackle knife crime.

Mr Offord said: "We all have a responsibility to help stop knife crime and to spot the signs, whatever your role in our communities. Is someone you know, or your child becoming withdrawn? Is your child playing truant from school and you don’t know where they are?

"This bigger picture could perhaps show they are becoming involved in criminality and may choose to carry a knife to protect themselves."

Knife crime is on the rise in the UK, with knife-related crimes reaching a nine-year high in 2018 according to a Ministry of Justice (MoJ) report released on Tuesday (March 14).

The MoJ statistics showed that in 2018 there were a total of 21,484 offences dealt with by the Criminal Justice System in England and Wales, the equivalent of 59 every day and the highest that figure has been since 2009 (25,103).

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