MERSEYSIDE Police is taking part in a national week of action to tackle knife crime.

Since the launch of Operation Target on July 1 to August 29, 49 people have been arrested across the region for possession of knife blade/sharply pointed object.

Of that number, 21 have been charged or postal charged and a further 19 are awaiting a charging decision. The other two have been released on police bail.

However this week, from Monday, September 16 to Sunday, September 22, officers will step up their efforts in regards to targetting the problem of knife crime as part of Operation Sceptre, a national week of action.

During this week, police may be seen carrying out stop searches, open land searches and weapon sweeps. Knife amnesty bins will also be placed at police stations.

High visibility patrols using knife arches or wands at key times may also be used in busy locations, and officers will be in communication with door-staff and licensed premises.

Chief Inspector Andy Creer said: "Operation Sceptre gives us the chance to stand alongside the other 42 national police forces taking part to show our commitment to tackling knife crime.

“Operation Target is our local response to what is a national issue. It is pleasing to see that we are already seeing the positive results of our ongoing disruption activity.

“Over 20 people have already been charged with knife possession and we have carried out hundreds of land searches, stop searches and weapon recoveries.

“We will continue to push the message that carrying a knife is not acceptable and people put themselves at risk when they choose to carry a weapon.

“I would ask that the public continues to support us by spreading the message and making carrying a knife socially unacceptable.

“If you know someone is carrying a knife then speak to us or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 and help us to finally stamp out this problem.”