POLICE have issued a warning as part of a crackdown on the distribution of prohibited weapons.

Officers from the North-East Regional Specialist Operations Unit (NERSOU) are launching a clampdown on the buying and selling of knives online.

A representative from NERSOU’s disruption team said: “By working with our partners we can ensure a joined up approach to making sure that prohibited weapons are prevented from reaching our communities.

“Please do not be naïve and think that because something is for sale online, that it is legal to have. "Having a weapon in your possession is a very serious offence, one that police and the justice system will not take lightly.

“If you know someone who is carrying a knife or other prohibited weapon in public, we would encourage you to report your concerns to the police or Crimestoppers and your information will be acted on.”

As part of the crackdown, NERSOU, which is made up of officers from the three police forces of Northumbria, Durham and Cleveland, have been carrying out disruption activity to seize weapons illegally bought online.

Officers have been working in conjunction with the Border Force Agency and parcels being delivered into the UK are being intercepted and seized from depots.

Crimestoppers can be contacted on 0800-55511.