This is why you might have spotted police carrying out a huge search of this Sheffield park

Police have revealed why they were spotted carrying out a huge search of a Sheffield park last week.

Tuesday, 20th February 2018, 10:49 am
Updated Tuesday, 20th February 2018, 10:55 am
Police in Arbourthorn - Credit: Rebecca Acton

Local residents were left concerned after spotting a huge police presence on Northern Avenue in Arbourthorn on Friday morning, February 16.

Eyewitnesses said that around 14 police officers were seen searching through the open land along with search dogs with another squad car 'circling the area'.

However, police have now confirmed that the large police presence was in relation to a week of action against knife crime, named 'Operation Sceptre'.

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The scheme included covert and overt operations, high visibility policing and an abundance of activity across South Yorkshire in a bid to tackle knife crime in the county.

Force lead for armed criminality, Detective Superintendent Una Jennings said: “There has been a rise in our county in offences involving knives and bladed weapons, as there has been across the entire country.

"However I want to make it very clear this is not going to be tolerated in our city, towns and villages in South Yorkshire.

"We are fully supporting this national operation and we have a week of robust action, operations, engagement events and a wide range of activities, to ensure we reach all those who are, or could be involved or affected by knife crime, and to demonstrate and offer assurance to the public that we are committed in reducing this type of criminality.

“We must raise awareness of the grave and serious consequences that carrying a knife can have. whether it’s carried for ‘protection’ or ‘status’, the fact remains you have a lethal and dangerous weapon in your possession."

Some of the activity included operations taking place in the night-time economy in an attempt to minimise and reduce any risk of violent crime involving a knife or bladed weapon.

Police set up knife arches at certain venues and had an increased police presence to deal with any issues should they arise.

Officers were seen as Mount Pleasant Park carrying out proactive land searches as part of the operation and discovered a plastic knife during a field search in Mexborough.

Scores of knives and offensive weapons were recovered during the first few days of the week-long initiative, which involved the execution of search warrants, education stands and the operation of knife arches across the county.