Cheshire police have launched Operation Sceptre with the aim of educating people about the laws surrounding buying and carrying knives.

It also aims to gather intelligence from the public to help to tackle this type of crime.

Chief Inspector Brian Roberts said: “Cheshire is one of the safest places to live in the country and crime levels are currently at their lowest for 25 years.

RELATED STORY: Cheshire police arrest 128 on their Most Wanted list

“Whilst knife crime in Cheshire is low there has been a slight increase in the number of crimes involving bladed items over the past 12 months and we want to ensure that we are doing everything we can to tackle this issue.

“As part of this operation we want to educate people about the laws regarding buying and carrying knives.

“The laws are quite simple - it is illegal to carry a knife in a public place without good reason. If you break that law you could face up to four years in prison and a fine of up to £5,000.

RELATED STORY: Cheshire Police invests in new high tech fleet

“It is also illegal to sell knives, including kitchen knives and even cutlery, to anyone under the age of 18. That is why I’m keen to remind retailers who sell knives to enforce the Challenge 25 policy, as breaking this law can result in a fine of up to £5,000 or up to 6 months in prison.”

The Constabulary is also keen to reach out to members of the public who have information about knife crime in their local community.

Chief Inspector Roberts added: “Information from the public is vital and even the smallest amount of information could prove invaluable in an investigation.

RELATED STORY: Elderly shoppers in Cheshire targeted in 'distraction' thefts

“I would ask anyone who believes that they have any information about knife crime in their local community to contact us on 101.

“Or, if you don’t want to speak to the police directly you can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”