Police scour parks for hidden knives using metal detectors
Main article content
Officers have taken to the park with metal detectors in hand to try and unearth hidden knives.
Neighbourhood policing teams have been carrying out knife sweeps across the county throughout Operation Sceptre this week.
The Mansfield North team was among those to organise a search as part of the national week of action – in a bid to take more knives off the streets.
Knowing offenders often store weapons at easily accessible locations within the community to use later on, officers identified a number of potential hiding places.
One such ‘hotspot’ area that intelligence suggested could be used as a place to hide or dispose of a weapon was Manor Park, in Mansfield Woodhouse.
Knowing this, the team descended on the public space with metal detectors and rakes on Wednesday (15 November) in a bid to uncover knives, and also deter people from using the area for this purpose going forward.
PC Pete Gardiner, beat manager for Mansfield North, said:
“We started searching up here because we were finding stolen motorbikes and then at certain times at night we’d get reports of antisocial behaviour, people taking drugs, and drugs paraphernalia was being discovered too.
“Along with these items, sometimes we’ve found a weapon – be it a knife or something else like a cosh – and we obviously want to take these off our streets.
“When somebody hides a knife, they’re hiding it for a reason.
“They have either hidden it because they’ve used it, it’s been used by somebody else and they don’t want it to be found but they don’t know how to get rid of it, or it’s been hidden to be put somewhere else to be used at a later date.
“That’s why we do these kinds of operations, because we don’t want these knives to go back into circulation.”
Anyone from the Mansfield area who discovers a knife or has a weapon that they want to hand in can do so anonymously by dropping it off in an amnesty bin located at Mansfield Police Station.
The Mansfield bin has been permanently installed inside the station and can therefore be used at any point during opening hours by members of the public.
This is one of four amnesty bins available all year-round to the public, while nine additional amnesty bins have also been made available at different locations across the county during Op Sceptre, which runs until this Sunday (19 November).
Anyone with information on knife crime in their local community is urged to call Nottinghamshire Police on 101, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. In an emergency, always dial 999.