For this month’s column, I want to talk to you initially about our recent response to the force’s knife crime awareness week, Operation Sceptre.
Knife crime has a significant impact to victims, their families and the wider community, not just in terms of individual incidents, but also in terms of feelings of safety within communities. Staff from your local neighbourhood policing team undertook a raft of actions as part of this operational response, which I will summarise for you.
In conjunction with Leeds ASB team, we have secured a partial closure on a residential address linked with links to an urban street gang. This will be pursued for a full closure order over the coming weeks.
Following a search of a residential address, fourteen knives were surrendered for destruction. In addition to this, recent warrants have recovered a number of knives and other offensive weapons which could only be used in criminality.
Various school inputs have taken place at both Primary and Secondary schools, with a focus on prevention and education. To supplement this, the team have conducted retailer visits at local vendors. Green spaces and parks have also been searched by the team to ensure they are free of hidden weapons.
My hope is that this multi-faceted approach is effective in disrupting the use of weapons, and preventing people choosing to carry them. If you wish to hand in/surrender any weapons, you can do so at Elland Road Police Station.
As we move into the summer, we get to peak periods for demands on Policing. To ensure the continuation of the expected levels of service, West Yorkshire Police are advertising the various means by which you can contact the police. There are many different ways that members of the public can contact us online, and all of these are quicker, easier and cheaper than dialling 101. These include 101 live webchat, online local crime tracker and reporting forms for a wide variety of crime or incident types. The full list of contact methods to WYP can be found here: www.westyorkshire.police.uk/report-it
My final word is on the Queens Platinum Jubilee, where Leeds will see a variety of celebrations on a variety of scales. Your local neighbourhood policing team will be on hand to support and participate in many of these events. Whatever your plans for the Jubilee celebrations, I hope that you enjoy a safe and enjoyable period.
This post was written by Inspector Tom Perry of the South Leeds Neighbourhood Policing Team
Photo: Officers conduct a knife sweep in a local park