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Kent police make 62 arrests in knife crime operation

Police made 62 arrests across the county as part of a campaign to crackdown on knife crime.

As part of Operation Sceptre, which was a national campaign launched on Monday, March 11, more than 26 weapons were recovered including a chainsaw, knives, blades and a baseball bat.

At the time of writing, 62 people had been arrested, 150 people stopped, 83 people searched and 10 warrants were executed.

62 arrests were made during the campaign
62 arrests were made during the campaign

Officers made the highest number of arrests in Medway with 13, followed by Thanet with eight.

There have not been any arrests made in Tunbridge Wells and Sevenoakes.

Seven arrests were made in Folkestone, Canterbury and Maidstone, five in Gravesend, three in Dartford, Shepway and Swanley and two in Ashford, Dover and Swale.

More than £97,000 in cash, believed to have been made through criminal activity, and 350 wraps of class A drugs were seized.

"Our message is simple; knife crime in Kent will not be tolerated..." Chief Constable Alan Pughsley

The operation was launched after it was revealed that knife crime in Kent has increased at the fastest rate in the country.

The county has also seen a reduction in police officers by 500 in the last nine years.

During the campaign officers carried out proactive sweeps and community engagement events at train stations, shopping centres and high streets across the county.

Last Tuesday a hunting knife was found after a vehicle was stopped and searched in Rochester. Three people were arrested and suspected class A drugs were seized.

Kent Police Chief Constable Alan Pughsley said: "Reports of knife crime have increased across the UK and have been well-documented in the media. Kent is a safe county and we plan to keep it that way.

The campaign was in response to an increase in knife crime across the country
The campaign was in response to an increase in knife crime across the country

"Officers take a zero-tolerance approach to knives and weapons in our communities at all times but the successes of Op Sceptre mean we will be continuing this high-level of enforcement action.

"Those who carry knives or weapons say they do so for protection but our experience shows those who carry knives are more likely to be hurt or arrested.

"Knife crime is not just about injuring another person - it can include offences without causing injury such as possession and criminal damage.

"In tackling knife crime officers will without doubt address associated offences such as drug dealing and domestic abuse.

"Kent is a safe county and we plan to keep it that way..."Chief Constable Alan Pughsley

"Our message is simple; knife crime in Kent will not be tolerated."

Officers will continue to carry out extra patrols to find and deter people who carry knives.

Police are also being given tasers in a bid to tackle a rise in violent crime in Kent.

To get the latest updates in ongoing cases, police appeals and criminals put behind bars, click here.

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