AS THE Basingstoke community is still in shock following the death of a 31-year-old dad who died of stab wounds, police release figures from a week of action to tackle knife crime in the town and across Hampshire.

Hundreds of knives and bladed articles were handed in to Hampshire Constabulary during the week of action from May 16 to May 22, which aimed to challenge and reduce knife crime.

During the same week, Frantisek Olah, a father-of-two, died of stab wounds in Brighton Hill on May 22, resulting in police launching a murder investigation.

Read more: Brighton Hill murder: Further arrest made as police investigate death of man who died of stab wounds

Police said a total of 247 knives and bladed articles were handed in across Hampshire during Operation Sceptre, with 13 amnesty bins available at police stations to prevent unwanted knives from finding their way onto the streets.

Twelve people were arrested for knife related crimes during the week, nine of which were a result of stop and searches. During the week, police carried out 68 stop and searches related to knife crime, recovering three knives.

Police also carried out other proactive operations including visiting 24 schools to educate and inform students about the dangers of carrying weapons and the fatal consequences associated with carrying a knife.

Officers conducted 25 test purchase operations in stores across Hampshire to spot check age compliance with the sale of knives.

Overall, there was a 98 per cent pass rate, with one fail reported for summons on a second failed test purchase in Fleet.

Chief Inspector John Halfacre, tactical lead for knife crime said: “Operation Sceptre is part of our ongoing proactive work to reduce knife crime across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. This work demonstrates our continued efforts to deliver a number of activities to reduce the threat of knife crime protect our local communities and raise awareness of the dangers involved.

“Part of our work on this operation has involved an increased police presence in our communities, with officers engaging with the public and disrupting crime throughout the week of action. Because of this a total of 12 arrests were made during our work on Op Sceptre.

“With every operation, we seek to raise awareness of the dangers of carrying knives. While the police continue to take action to tackle those who carry weapons, we all have a duty and role to help keep each other safe.

"If you have concerns that someone is vulnerable and maybe drawn into crime or carrying a knife, speak to someone – the police, school, any trusted adult / professional – let’s get them the help they need and prevent future tragedies. In addition, if you have any information about someone carrying a knife or using weapons involved in violence, report it to police or anonymously to Crimestoppers.”

Donna Jones, police and crime commissioner for Hampshire and Isle of Wight said: “The number of knives handed in to Hampshire and Isle of Wight police over the last week is encouraging. Fewer knives on our streets means less chance of people being seriously injured or killed.

“The number of young people carrying knives across the UK over the last five years has increased and that is why tackling the culture of knife carrying, especially in young people, is one of the top priorities in my police and crime plan, More Police, Safer Streets.

“We are fortunate to have a Home Office funded Violence Reduction Unit in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, which focuses on habitual knife carriers - preventing them from offending or re-offending and diverting them away from drugs and criminal gangs.”

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