Operation Alligator, an initiative that launched earlier this year to tackle antisocial behaviour, is upping its efforts in the bid to reduce knife crime and violence across Rotherham and deter people from carrying a weapon.
Since September, the district has seized over 40 knives by stop and search from the Rotherham area but has seen a slight increase in knife related crimes and the team are determined to stamp it out.
To crack down and tackle this issue, the team have been working closely with partners at Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council and the Youth Offending Team to ensure that offenders and members of the public think twice before purchasing a prohibited weapon as part of their ‘Safer Rotherham’ programme.
As part of the operation; uniformed and plain-clothes officers have been, and will continue to maximise opportunities to stop and search individuals while on patrol in areas known for knife crime, and action will be taken against knife carriers.
Individuals known to the force will be monitored and officers will have a high presence of visibility to send a clear message that knives will not be tolerated.
A number of programmes have been delivered in secondary schools to raise awareness about the dangers and consequences of knife crime, and officers will continue to do so. Officers aim to reduce crime rates within schools by 15%.
Following previous operations and initiatives, a reduction in certain categories of knife crime have already been seen and communities have expressed positivity about our desires and efforts to keep them safe.
Sergeant Simon Kirkham, District Operational Lead for Op Alligator would like to thank and reassure the public, he said: “We do not wish to cause undue alarm, as being a victim of such crime is rare but we do thank our communities for their support and understanding.
“We will continue to work with schools, licenced premises and our partners to tackle this unwanted behaviour in Rotherham and raise the profile of knife crime to ensure we continue to see positive results from our dedicated work.
“Clearly we would always prefer to prevent but those that persist and carry a knife in a public place can expect robust action, and if it’s a second occasion we find you committing this offence a mandatory minimum of 6 months imprisonment will apply, but it can be up to four years.
"Do not carry knives. If you are a parent or guardian, take every opportunity to dissuade your young people from obtaining them and carrying them. All that said, the vast majority of Rotherham residents are law abiding and it is relatively unlikely you will be a victim. We appreciate your support”
Operation Alligator is about giving focus to the issues that affect our communities the most and deploying the right people to deal with those issues. You can follow the team’s progress on Twitter- @RotherhamCentralNHP.
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