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The Metropolitan Police today launched the latest phase of a scheme aimed at tackling knife carrying in London, something that they say 2,706 people have been charged for since last May.
Operation Sceptre was launched last month, but a recent spike in knife crime in the capital has forced to continue running the scheme on a monthly basis.
According to Scotland Yard, 85% of those arrested have been charged while a further 474 people received cautions related to knife possession.
A force spokesman said: "The Met has refocused our tactics and are now running Sceptre operations on a monthly basis, with a different theme each time.
"To date, the team have recovered 29 knives, one electric shock baton, knuckle-dusters, ammonia spray and one firearm."
He added: "The team will be out in force during the week employing a variety of tactics which include intense weapon sweeps, intelligence-led policing operations to confiscate knives and proactive operations to target repeat knife crime offenders, as well as increasing the visibility of police officers."
The initiative saw 100 officers sent out to knife crime hotspots in the city on intelligence-led operations.
Acting Detective Chief Superintendent, Sean Yates, is the deputy head of Operation Sceptre and says that attitudes towards knife carrying need to change.
He told the Evening Standard: "We need to change attitudes to carrying knives and are encouraging key people in positions of influence to drive this messaging forward.
"The introduction of the taskforce, working closely with boroughs, allows us to create a more co-ordinated and consistent approach to reducing knife crime by carrying out intense weapon sweeps, intelligence-led stop and search and tackling those offenders who are wanted in connection with knife-related offences and violent crime.
"This type of activity is essential and has a real impact, however, it will only ever be part of the solution.
"We are starting to see a mobilisation from the community against knife crime and we need this to continue," he added
A total of 61 people were stabbed to death in the capital last year and, in 2017, 29 people have already lost their lives.
This is up from 23 during the same period in 2015.
According to a Police and Crime Committee report, gang-related violence accounted for only 5% of knife crimes.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan (Credit: PA)
London Mayor Sadiq Khan spoke out against the rise in knife crime: "Today I want to send an unequivocal message that carrying knives will simply not be tolerated on London's streets, and I am calling on everybody in London to work with the police to help root out this scourge.
"Every life lost is an utter tragedy and my thoughts are with the families and friends of all those who have so needlessly lost their lives. I am working with the Metropolitan Police, young people, schools, families and community groups to do everything we can to keep Londoners safe."
Source: Evening Standard
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