North East UK news Police seize 12 inch machete while on patrol in shopping centre at Christmas MetiNews.Com
MetiNews.Com - A staff member in a store raised the alarm after spotting the knife in a man's pocket
Breaking News ! Police patrolling a Sunderland shopping centre at Christmas seized a 12 inch machete after a worker raised the alarm. A staff member at a clothing store in The Bridges saw a male enter the store on the afternoon of December 15, and as he bent down to pick up a carrier bag, she noticed the large knife tucked inside his waistband. On-patrol Community Support Officers (CSOs) in Market Square called for back-up and continued to observe the man’s movements from a distance. Within minutes, officers arrived at the scene and a 28-year-old man was placed under arrest, and the machete subsequently seized. He has since been charged and will appear in court in the coming weeks. Sergeant Maria Ord, of Northumbria Police, said: “There is absolutely no excuse for anyone carrying a weapon and this was a case of fantastic teamwork between businesses and staff to ensure nobody came to harm and the machete safely seized. “A man has since been charged in connection with the seizure and is due to appear before the courts. “As expected, we saw a gradual increase in footfall across the city centre throughout December – and that’s why we ran Operation Elf to deal directly with any crime spikes or incidents that arose during the Christmas countdown.” During the operation, police saw a 37 per cent reduction in anti-social behaviour reports compared to December 2019 and a 31 per cent reduction for all incidents during the same period. More than 80 people were proactively stopped or searched by officers in the city centre, and nine arrests made for a range of offences including possessing an offensive weapon, theft, and failing to appear in court.
. Sgt Ord added: “These results are testament not only to the hard work of our officers, staff but also the ongoing support of the public, the local authority, Sunderland BID and the Bridges. “I’d like to thank everyone for supporting Operation Elf and helping to make it such a huge success.” Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Kim McGuinness, added: “We have to get blades off the streets. In the wrong hands they are deadly and as shown here, any report like this is taken very seriously by Northumbria Police. “We won’t stand still on this - our officers are determined to keep shoppers and local residents safe and Operation Elf is just one example of ongoing work to fight and prevent crime in the area.
“Supporting this work, my Violence Reduction Unit will continue working with young people to tackle issues and look at the causes of crime – nobody should ever feel they are in a position where they need to carry a knife. We need to do everything we can to stop this happening.” The 28-year-old man who was arrested has since been charged with possessing an offensive weapon. He is due to appear before magistrates in South Tyneside in March.
Source = MetiNews.Com