POLICE found a haul of discarded blades and tools near a New Milton playing field during a national week-long crackdown on knife crime.
New Milton Sgt Kat Smith said the implements found at Fawcett’s Field on Wednesday – including a set of bolt croppers, a penknife and a chisel – could have been used as weapons.
Two days earlier Hampshire police joined with forces across the country in launching Operation Sceptre. This involved intensified efforts to tackle knife crime and the associated serious violence from which it can often stem.
Sgt Smith said: “As part of Op Sceptre this week my team has been out doing a knife and weapon sweep in open spaces.
“The New Milton team searched Fawcett’s Field and located the items in the undergrowth. Although rusty, these could have been potentially used to cause injury.”
She added a team of officers had also been searching the area behind Lymington Town Hall, but nothing was found.
Following the first day of the campaign, the sergeant reported officers joined forces with Dorset counterparts and British Transport Police in patrolling trains and railway stations.
However, despite a number of searches, Sgt Smith confirmed no blades were found.
As well as cracking down on habitual knife carriers, Operation Sceptre was set up to engage with children, youngsters and parents to educate them about the risks of carrying knives. People were signposted to relevant support services.
Hampshire’s force lead for knife crime, Ch. Insp. John Halfacre, said: “We are aware some young people carry a knife because of the increasing acceptance among their peers. For others they may carry a knife simply because they are afraid.
“We must ensure that young people know that carrying a knife, even if they have no intention of using it, is a crime and can increase the likelihood of suffering an injury or facing a criminal record.”
The operation sought to assure the public that reducing knife crime remained a top policing priority nationwide throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.
Those concerned about someone they know carrying a knife or weapon should contact police on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.