Knife arch is rolled out in Blackpool as part of Operation Sceptre knife crime week

A knife arch has been rolled out in Blackpool as part of a national knife crime week.

Thursday, 29th April 2021, 12:00 pm
Updated Thursday, 29th April 2021, 12:02 pm

Officers from Blackpool Police were using the metal detector machine on Lytham Road in South Shore yesterday and on Tuesday - once at the junction of Waterloo Road and once at the junction of Bloomfield Road.

A total of 104 people passed through the knife arch and 12 people were also searched during the operation.

A 30-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply drugs and after officers found 20 wraps of crack cocaine and £300 in cash.

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Blackpool Police officers with the knife arch on Lytham Road
Blackpool Police officers with the knife arch on Lytham Road

Arrests were also made on nearby streets - one person on suspicion of possession with intent to supply a class B drug and another on suspicion of possession of a bladed article and possession with intent to supply a class A drug.

Through these arrests officer seized 21 wraps of crack cocaine, three wraps of heroin and a flick knife.

Temp Det Sgt Nick Trangmar of Blackpool Police said the knife arch is just one of a number of different initiatives being carried out across the resort.

He said: "Today and yesterday we've had the knife arch out and it's been a really good way to engage with the community and educate people surrounding knife crime and the dangers they can bring.

A man goes through the metal detector

"We did have some good results yesterday, involving one arrest where someone was arrested for possession with intent to supply crack cocaine with wraps of crack cocaine and large currency cash being seized.

"Moving on from the knife arch, later on we'll be out in some plain clothes and vehicles targeting the areas where we believe there might be some knife crime.

"It's an opportunity for us to be proactive, to work with the community, engage with them and advise them about knife crime and educate them. Hopefully this sort of thing can prevent any serious incidents from happening in the future.

"There has been a good interaction with the community and for the most part everyone's been positive. They've been keen to know what's going on and the feedback has been really good. It's been really good chance to listen to the community and work with them."

Some of the items seized

Following reaction on social media with people concerned officers were going to force members of the public to go through the arch, Blackpool Police said going through the metal detector was not compulsory.

A spokesman for Blackpool Police said: "It is voluntary to go through the knife arch but if people refuse and we have grounds for suspicion then we do have the power to carry out a search."

They added: "We are committed to keeping our communities safe and tackling violent crime is a priority for us. We'll continue to work throughout the year, using all powers at our disposal in areas where we identify there is an issue."

The metal detector is not compulsory for people to go through