Posted on Friday 17 November 2023
Durham Constabulary takes a proactive step in the fight against knife crime with the roll out of metal detecting wands, coinciding with national #OperationSceptre week.
Operation Sceptre is an initiative co-ordinated by the National Police Chief’s Council across the UK, which brings together all 43 police forces and British Transport Police in a week of intensified action to tackle knife crime.
With funding support from the Durham Police and Crime Commissioner, the force’s prevention and problem-solving team purchased 32 hand-held metal detectors for police vehicles.
This week, the metal detectors have been distributed to police officers, enhancing their ability to target and seize concealed weapons.
All Durham Roads and Armed Police (DRAP) cars are now equipped with these devices, marking a significant effort to ensure the safety of our communities and searches.
The deployment of metal detecting wands serves as an additional layer of security, aiming to keep knives off our streets. While the wands won't replace physical searches, they will function as a screening device during lawful and justified searches following an arrest.
Inspector Mike Sammut, the force lead for Operation Sceptre, emphasised the importance of tackling this issue head-on and said: “This strategic rollout reflects our commitment to addressing knife crime directly.
“Despite Durham Constabulary being in the bottom 10% of force areas in the country for knife crime, the initiative showcases a dedicated approach to maintaining community safety and preventing the proliferation of weapons across our county.”
Commissioner Allen said: “We are very fortunate that knife crime is relatively low throughout County Durham and Darlington. However, we are doing all we can to ensure our force area remains one of the lowest areas in the country for knife crime.
“These metal detectors will provide an additional layer of protection for our hard-working officers and is yet another step in eradicating knives from our streets.”