Kitchen knives found during weapon sweeps of Newham parks
- Credit: Archant
Knives with blades of up to ten inches long have been recovered from flowerbeds in Newham parks.
Weekly weapon sweeps introduced during the summer have helped remove upwards of two knives a week from Central Park in Stratford alone.
The knives are thought to be hidden by youngsters to avoid being caught with a weapon during routine stop and searches.
Inspector Sean Davis, from the Stratford ward, said: “They are left there and then when they want to use them against each other they can go and get them at a later date, rather than carrying them from A to B.”
The intelligence led operation has also involved the police working with the council to ensure that overgrown foliage is cut back so that it provides a less inviting hiding place for dumped weapons, which tend to be kitchen knives.
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Although Insp Davis admits that it is very difficult to catch the culprits, it is thought that removing weapons from the street is partly accountable for the 20.9 per cent year-on-year reduction in street robbery across the borough.
“It is very difficult to attribute a knife to a particular individual so it is about moving them so they cannot be used to commit crime,” he explained.
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“We want to take knives away from the park and to keep ordinary members of the public safe so that they can enjoy themselves in our public spaces.”
Regular weapon sweeps were brought in by the police in an attempt to combat a rise in street crime during the summer months last year.