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Tuesday, May 24, 2022

More than 500 weapons seized and 200 arrests through anti-violence police operation

More than 200 people arrested and 500 weapons taken off the streets of West Yorkshire in police campaign.

Over 500 weapons have been taken off the streets of West Yorkshire in 12 months in an ongoing operation to reduce violent crime.  

West Yorkshire Police’s ongoing Operation Jemlock initiative has marked another milestone after starting its fourth year in operation this month, with 529 weapons recovered by officers since April 2021.

Over 500 weapons were taken off the street by West Yorkshire Police.

The team, which operates across West Yorkshire to reduce violent offending and support colleagues in crime hotspots, has also made 2011 arrests over the 12-month period for offences ranging from violent crime to drug offending.

Initiatives so far in 2022 have included joint work with the UK Border Agency to investigate the importation of bladed weapons into the UK which are illegal to own and possess.

Jemlock officers visited houses of people in Bradford and Leeds, who had received shipments of weapons from illegal sellers. Officers attended 11 addresses in Bradford and 20 addresses in Leeds with UKBA staff during the operation and recovered a number of knives and other bladed weapons.

Operation Jemlock itself was launched in 2019 to combat serious violence and knife crime in West Yorkshire.

It involves officers patrolling high priority areas to provide a reassuring, highly visible presence within those communities and the required enforcement when required.

The programme is intended to support and complement the work of the West Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) which was formed in 2020 to tackle the underlying causes of violent offending.

Over two hundred people were arrested by Operation Jemlock officers.

It also helps fund vital local projects that undertake positive preventative work with children and young people.

Chief Inspector James Kitchen, force lead for Operation Jemlock, said: “Operation Jemlock has now entered its fourth year with funding confirmed, as announced by the Home Office last week, for us to continue our work to reduce violent crime in West Yorkshire.

“Each successive year of operations has seen us take increasing numbers of weapons off the streets, and that is a trend we are determined to continue through 2022 into 2023.

“Our officers work across the force both to reduce violent crime and support colleagues in communities which are having issues with offending to help nip those problems in the bud and provide space for long term solutions to be found.”

He added: “Reducing knife and violent crime is a far more complex issue than simply a policing one, and can only be achieved long term with prevention work, such as that carried out by the VRU and input from communities.

“We continue to urge residents to contact West Yorkshire Police or Crimestoppers with any information or intelligence about knife crime and violent in communities

“All information received is examined and can often form the basis for our deployments.”

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