Knife seized from boy aged just 14 as police forces reveal surge in knife crime
A knife was seized from a boy aged just 14 in a town centre, West Yorkshire Police have revealed.
The butterfly knife is not branded as an illegal weapon - but was taken from the teenager in Heckmondwike yesterday (Thursday).
Knife seized from 14-year-old in Heckmondwike town centre on Thursday
Officers were called at 5.30pm after a member of the public reported seeing a youth walking round the town centre with a blade. Despite closer inspection proving the training knife was not an illegal weapon, police said the weapon "could easily cause upset and fear for anyone near by".
It comes as crime data released by forces in England and Wales yesterday highlighted a worrying rise in offences involving knives in 2018.
West Yorkshire Police were one of the forces who confirmed an increase in violent crime last year, adding that a £3m cash injection was to be used to specifically tackle knife crime.
Pc Jack Schofield said: "West Yorkshire Police are dedicated to tacking knife crime on our streets. Although on this occasion it has not shown to be an offensive weapon, it could easily be perceived as one by any member of the public and rightly so cause concern and alarm.
"This in itself could lead to other offences such as public order.
"There is no place for knives on our streets and I would warn anyone who owns an item such as this to leave it at home. Referrals will be made for the owner of this item and we will be looking at further work around the issue."
Temporary Deputy Chief Constable Russ Foster said: “I really welcome the additional Government funding we are receiving to help us tackle the issue of serious violence and in particular knife crime. We are committed to working with our partners to develop a sustainable long term approach.
“West Yorkshire Police is exploring a series of measures to tackle knife crime, from enforcement as part of the national Operation Sceptre and targeted patrols in key hotspot areas, to diversionary activity such as the potential creation of youth zones, working with partners to give young people somewhere to go and something to do. We are also working closely with education colleagues, to drive the message that carrying a knife is never the answer.”