A week-long initiative to crackdown on knife crime in the region is now up and running.

Operation Sceptre will see forces working together to tackle the root causes of the problem while taking steps to get weapons off the streets.

Cleveland Police is already running the ‘Carrying a Blade Doesn’t Give You an Edge’ campaign aimed at young people aged 11-24, to help them to spot the early signs people involved in carrying a knife.

The latest Operation Sceptre will focus on education and engagement activity, with enhanced enforcement over the week.

People are being encouraged to surrender weapons anonymously to any of our knife amnesty bins, which are located at our four main police stations - Middlesbrough, Redcar, Stockton and Hartlepool.

Acting Inspector Sarah Beadle, who is leading on the week of action said: “Everyday police officers see first-hand the devastating effects of carrying bladed weapons.

“It is particularly concerning to see young people involved and hurt in these crimes, but we will do all we can to engage, educate and encourage them not to carry a knife.

See more court stories from The Northern Echo by clicking here

Get all the latest crime and court updates, for less than the price of a coffee, with a Premium Plus digital subscription to The Northern Echo. Click here

“It isn’t normal behaviour, very few young people do carry a knife, but with numbers rising on Teesside, we want to ensure that there is help and guidance for anyone who needs it.

“The enforcement side of tackling knife crime continues, with Operation Deterrence patrols in high harm areas for violent crime.

“This way we can ensure that we have officers in the right place at the right time to stop people carrying knives.”

The Northern Echo continues to campaign to end the scourge of knife-crime and has brought together its Knife Crime Taskforce to encourage discussion and collaboration on the topic.