More Than 10,000 Arrests Made By Team Dedicated To Reducing Violent Crime

    A specialist team working to reduce violent crime has started a New Year by passing a new milestone after making more than 10,000 arrests.

    Officers from the force’s Operation Jemlock made a total of 10,046 arrests up to the end of January, with recent arrests including suspects caught carrying weapons and persons brought in on suspicion of robbery.

    The team continues to deploy in knife crime hot spots across West Yorkshire, providing an extra visible policing presence of specialist officers to deter offending and proactively hunt down offenders.  

    knife arch

    More than 2100 dangerous weapons have also now been taken from the streets by officers with the latest items seized including a samurai style knife and a home made knuckle duster.

    Arrests made by the team have led to continued reductions in numbers of knife crime and serious violence, with knife offending substantially lower now than it was when Jemlock was formed in 2019.  

    officers on patrol

    Police operations to reduce knife offending continue to be complemented by partners including the West Yorkshire Combined Authority hosted Violence Reduction Partnership.  

    The Violence Reduction Partnership which was established in 2019, funds key knife crime intervention work across communities to try and prevent offending taking place.  

    In 2022/23 it worked with 46 organisations, supporting over 14,000 young people under 25 years to tackle serious violence.    

    Operation Jemlock is also supporting a campaign of education and awareness around knife crime which is running in the Leeds this month following the arrival of the imposing Knife Angel sculpture.  

    The month of activity officially kickstarts Project Shield, which is the city’s longer term co-ordinated response to knife crime.

    Chief Inspector James Kitchen, force lead for Operation Jemlock, said: “Continuing to reduce knife crime and raising awareness of the dangers of carrying knives absolutely remains a key priority for the force heading into 2024, just as it does in communities.

    “The team has now made in excess of 10,000 arrests since it was established in 2019, with more than 2,000 dangerous weapons seized.  

    “Those numbers have contributed to knife offending falling across West Yorkshire and fewer people being victims of knife offending and violent crime.”

    He added: “Our enforcement operations and patrols to take offenders and weapons off the streets continue as does the huge investment in knife crime awareness work in communities, and young people within them in particular.  

    “It is no exaggeration to say that police and partners have now engaged with tens of thousands of young people across West Yorkshire about the dangers of carrying knives.  

    “We are confident the vast majority of those teenagers don’t, and won’t, carry such weapons, and would also stress that the vast majority of our young people are not involved in this kind of offending.    

    “Operation Jemlock remain resolute in our drive to catch and convict those who continue to carry knives. The message from communities, families and friends couldn’t be any clearer in that it is never acceptable to carry knives. For those who continue to put their and other’s lives at risk it will only be a matter of time before you are arrested or the victim of knife crime. “ 

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