NINETEEN people were arrested and a number of weapons were seized as Dyfed-Powys Police took part in a national week of action against knife crime.

Dyfed-Powys Police has released its results from Op Sceptre, which ran from April 26 to May 2, during which officers across the force took part in activity to crack down on crime involving blades.

The week was led by the force’s roads policing units (RPU), with a focus on targeting operations in key areas throughout the four divisions.

During the week:

  • Twenty people were stopped and searched by officers, resulting in seven arrests for affray and possession of offensive weapons, and numerous weapons being seized.
  • Twelve people were arrested for drug driving following stop checks on vehicles, one of which led to the discovery of a cannabis cultivation in the Cardigan area.
  • Traffic offence reports were issued to 41 drivers, and two people will be dealt with for failing to stop for officers when requested.

Neighbourhood policing activity saw engagement with 95 shop owners and community leaders, with officers and PCSOs reassured to find that most businesses were complying with the Challenge 25 policy.

Operation Sceptre saw officers carry out weapon sweeps and give people the opportunity to dispose of knives in amnesty bins across the country.

In Pembrokeshire amnesty bins were set up in Haverfordwest and Pembroke Dock as well as reports of a point being set up in Milford Haven.

The operation commenced just days after 14-year-old Fares Maatou was stabbed to death outside a pizza restaurant on Barking Road, Newham, east London, on Friday, April 23.

Inspector Andrew Williams said: “There have been some excellent results forcewide from this year’s Op Sceptre, and as a result of the increased proactivity in key areas, a vast amount of other offences were also detected.

“This was thanks to some outstanding work by roads policing units, neighbourhood policing teams, the joint firearms unit and response officers.

“Our approach was to educate our communities on the laws around carrying and selling knives, and the dangers associated with having a blade on your possession, which was backed up with operational activity across the force including stop searches, vehicle stop checks and engagement with shop owners and school pupils.

“This approach has been very well received, and will be continued during the next operation.”

Insp Williams said: “Our work to tackle knife crime will continue as we consider intelligence logs that were submitted during the operation and develop targeted plans to deal with concerns in our communities.

“We would also like to remind people that while our knife amnesty has now concluded, the best way to dispose of an unwanted blade is to take it to your local recycling centre.”