Police to target Sleaford area in anti-weapons campaign over coming weeks while inviting people to hand in knives and guns

Three machetes found as part of a search in connection with a drugs investigation in south Lincolnshire. EMN-190511-131534001
Three machetes found as part of a search in connection with a drugs investigation in south Lincolnshire. EMN-190511-131534001

The Sleaford area is set to be targeted by Lincolnshire Police officers in the coming weeks after the force launched a dedicated campaign to tackle knife crime and other weapons offences.

Warrants were executed at addresses across Lincoln on Monday morning as part of Operation Raptor.

A man and two women were arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the supply of controlled drugs, and a number of weapons were seized.

The operation is an intelligence-led campaign which has so far seen more than 30 people arrested and over 30 weapons seized, including knives, guns and baseball bats.

Over the coming weeks, officers will be taking further robust action to tackle offenders in the Sleaford area, while Neighbourhood Policing Teams will be engaging with schools and communities to provide education on the dangers, and potential consequences, of carrying weapons.

Superintendent Lee Pache said: “Offences involving weapons can have, and have had, a devastating impact on individuals, families and communities.

“Lincolnshire is a safe county and we want it to remain that way. We’re determined to take weapons off the streets and protect the public, while also encouraging people to report offences to us and working with communities to inform them on the dangers of these types of crimes.

“Our message is simple: We will take action to make sure weapons are not in the hands of criminals, and continue to keep people safe.”

There has been a rise locally in weapons offences. This reflects a broader national increase. Figures published last month showed that the average number of incidents per 100,000 people in Lincolnshire involving knives stood at 35 - a 15 per cent increase, year-on-year.

As part of Operation Raptor, the force is also launching a weapon surrender in which members of the public can hand in weapons including knives and firearms to the county’s four main police stations - Boston, Skegness, Lincoln and Grantham - providing it is packaged and bagged safely and appropriately. If you are elderly, infirm or without transport, police will attend your home. Call 101. Do not attempt to bring items that might be unstable, such as a hand grenade.

Weapons can be knives, firearms, BB guns, tasers, CS canisters, knuckledusters or crossbows. Those surrendering weapons will not face prosecution, and can remain anonymous.

Over the next few weeks the Licensing Team will complete test purchasing at stores and checking for weapons among pub and clubgoers.