Officers arrested nine people during a national week of action targeting knife crime.

Operation Sceptre, which ran from 26 April and 2 May 2022, aims to highlight the risks that carrying a blade can bring as well as targeting offenders who use and carry knives.

A total of 75 knives were taken off the streets during the week of action and handed over to police in a knife surrender initiative that allowed members of the public to surrender their knives at bins in Norwich, Great Yarmouth and King’s Lynn police stations without fear of prosecution.

Officers also carried out high visibility patrols targeting those who carry knives with nine people arrested for offences involving a knife.

Of the nine people arrested, the following people were charged:

Joanito Gil, age 21, of Lefroy Road, Norwich, has been charged with possession of a knife/bladed article and possession of cannabis after being stopped by police in Prince of Wales Road in the early hours of Sunday morning (22 May 2022). He was released on bail to appear at Norwich Magistrates’ Court on 27 June 2022.

Michael Toomey, age 51, of no fixed address, was charged with possession of a knife and theft after being stopped by police in Silver Road shortly after 8.15pm on the evening of Thursday 19 May. He appeared at Norwich Magistrates’ Court on Saturday 21 May. His case was adjourned to magistrates’ court on 7 July 2022.

Luke Shand, age 32, of Gaywood Hall Drive, Gaywood, was charged with possession of a knife/bladed article after being stopped by police in Coburg Street, King’s Lynn. He has been released on bail to appear at King’s Lynn Magistrates’ Court on 30 June 2022.

Officers also worked with Norfolk County Council Trading Standards to carry out checks at local retailers to ensure they are not selling knives to anyone under the age of 18, and visited schools and colleges across the county.

Inspector Ian Cox said: “Whilst this was a dedicated week of action, reducing knife crime and the violence associated with it is a priority for Norfolk police all year round. We know the devastating effect knife crime can have on victims, families and communities and we will continue to highlight the dangers of carrying a knife, as well as targeting offenders.

“However, we cannot tackle the issue of knife crime alone and it is important we continue to work with partner agencies and local communities to educate people about the risks carrying a blade can bring and prevent knife crime from happening in the first place. We all have a duty to protect our communities from harm and keep them safe.

“If you know someone who carries a knife, then please contact police. One call could help protect them or potentially save someone else’s life.”

If you suspect someone is carrying a knife, please call Norfolk Police on 101 or you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.