This is why police were searching a Sheffield estate today

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Police officers have carried out land searches on a Sheffield estate today in a crackdown on knife crime.

They were out in force in Lowedges this morning as part of Operation Sceptre – a week-long initiative being repeated across the country, where officers are trying to reduce knife crime.

Police officers in Lowedges this morning

Police officers in Lowedges this morning

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Officers spent the morning searching open areas of land looking for discarded weapons, drugs and signs of criminal activity. 

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Sam Baker, aged 15, was stabbed to death in Lowedges last May.

Land searches have been carried out in Lowedges this morning

Land searches have been carried out in Lowedges this morning

A knife he was carrying was used against him when violence flared.

His attacker, who was also 15, admitted manslaughter and was sentenced to two years and eight months in a young offenders institute.

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Inspector Colette Fitzgibbons said: “The area around Lupton Walk is covered by a problem orientated policing plan, focused around anti-social behaviour and drug-related activity. We have also recovered a weapon from this area in the past, which is why it is at the centre of our Operation Sceptre activities today. 
“It is of course, also where 15-year-old Sam Baker was sadly killed last year.

“It is important that we continue to work alongside the community in this area and show that we are carrying out proactive activities like this.” 
Police search advisors have been carrying out similar searches across the city this week, including an operation in Firth Park on Monday. 

Police officers have been out in force in Lowedges this morning

Police officers have been out in force in Lowedges this morning

“We use reference points of where we suspect people may hide cash, firearms, knives, search those primarily and then after that we’ll do an open land line search,” said Insp Fitzgibbons.

“Physically, that is a line of officers, covering the ground methodically, slowly and systematically. It’s a simple technique but it’ll help identify hiding places.”