OFFICERS from Greater Manchester Police will be joining forces across the country today to support Operation Sceptre.

Operation Sceptre is a national initiative which runs twice per year and aims to reduce knife crime through raising awareness providing young people with positive alternatives.

During the week-long operation, GMP's knife arches will be deployed at undisclosed locations targeting those carrying knives along with any other criminality.

In addition, officers will be carrying out weapon sweeps of local parks and open spaces; stop and search activity - where appropriate; visiting habitual knife carriers to explain the dangers and consequences that can come from carrying a knife.

Officers will also be engaging with local schools and youth provision to educate young people on the impact of knife crime and provide intervention opportunities.

GMP's knife crime lead, Superintendent Chris Downey, said: “Knife crime remains a priority and together with our partners in the Greater Manchester Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) we are working hard to make a difference in our communities.

"The Operation Sceptre weeks of action are not the only time of the year we dedicate to tackling knife crime. We are working hard each and every day to disrupt and deter violent crime across Greater Manchester with the ultimate aim of keeping people safe.

"As well as deploying officers to knife crime hot-spots, it is important we understand and tackle the root cause of violent crime so that we can provide long-term solutions and prevent the same problem from reoccurring. We will arrest and bring people to justice where required, but it's equally as important for us to work with partners to get people the help they need to stop them from becoming involved in violent crime in the first place.

"The police can't tackle knife crime alone; we need the continued support from our communities. We need the people of Greater Manchester's help to share our message and talk openly with family members and friends, to ensure that we prevent anyone from carrying or using a knife."

If you have concerns that someone you know or care about is carrying or hiding a knife, help is available via CrimeStoppers on 0800 555 111, or the Fearless campaign website:

If you wish to report an incident, please call the Police on 101 or talk to us via LiveChat at Always dial 999 in an emergency.