MERSEYSIDE Police will take part in a national operation aimed at targeting knife crime.

The week-long crackdown, which runs from today (Monday) until Sunday, July 23, aims to highlight work done to combat the issue.

The force says weapon sweeps, knife arches and high visibility police patrols will be used as part of its ongoing work to address knife crime.

The issue has come under particular scrutiny in St Helens following multiple stabbings in the town centre over recent months, including one in April which resulted in the death of 20-year-old Ryan Lamb.

The force had taken part in a previous week of action in May which saw 11 knives seized in the town and officers make nine arrests for suspicion of possessing a bladed article, one arrest on suspicion of possessing a prohibited weapon and one arrest on suspicion of possession of an offensive weapon.

Across Merseyside a number of weapons – including 24 knives were seized – and a total of 62 arrests were made for a variety of offences including possession of a bladed article.

This week is aimed at building on that with a continuing campaign of action.

Additional action will include crime reduction messaging, amnesty bins and test purchasing.

Community teams will deliver talks at identified schools across the region, who have either requested or have had incidents of knife crime occur nearby.

Patrols will also link in with door staff and licensed premises involved in the night time economy in town centres across Merseyside.

Chief Inspector Keith McLachlan said: "Our commitment to reducing and educating people about knife crime is part of our daily business.

"Taking part in the week of action gives us the opportunity to get an important message out to more people.

"It allows us to raise awareness of the work that we are doing and reassure people that, outside of the week of action, their are already existing processes in place which allow us to work with partners to combat knife crime on a regular basis.

"Violent crime - including knife crime - does have devastating consequences for the victim and their families and our officers have worked within schools across Merseyside to educate young people about the dangers of becoming involved in knife crime and the impact it has on the community."

He added: "Merseyside has a great reputation for being a safe area to visit and we want that to continue and for the people who live, work or visit here, to enjoy their time in a safe environment.

"But we cannot do this alone and we want parents, guardians and schools to help reinforce our message to young people – if you are caught carrying a knife, you are reducing your future prospects.

"A change in the law now means that anyone aged 16-17 years of aged who is convicted of possessing a knife for a second time automatically receives a detention and training order of at least four months. For anyone aged 18 years or over they will receive a prison sentence of at least six months. The reason for this is that knives kill and people carrying knives are a threat to our communities.

"We will act on all information reported to us. Anyone with information can call police on 101 or the Crimestoppers line anonymously on 0800 555 111."

Merseyside Police will be updating its social media accounts throughout the week of action using the hashtag #StopKnifeCrime

For advice and information about knife crime go to