A POLICE crackdown on knife crime which has seen dozens of blades collected from public places in Oxford is drawing to an end.

The week-long Operation Sceptre finishes tomorrow amid what some have called a 'complete storm' of stabbing attacks in the city and further afield.

A knife amnesty bin has been placed at St Aldates Police station and officers have been combing the undergrowth in the city's parks and open spaces in order to try to take blades off the streets.

Previous initiatives have seen more than 100 knives handed in at police stations.

According to the Thames Valley Police Twitter account, knives have been found in Blackbird Leys park, Oxpens meadow and Marsh Park in Cowley by officers using metal detectors over the last week.

A rusted machete was found by the North East Neighbourhood Policing Team yesterday in Bury Knowle Park.

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Syringes were also found in Hinksey Play Park and University Parks.

Oxford judge Peter Ross warned of a ‘complete storm’ of knife attacks as he jailed a 16-year-old for brutally slashing a man with a 12inch knife in Cowley last week.

Oxford Mail:

This came after a gang of men admitted stabbing a man in his 30s in a Blackbird Leys Park last year.

Judge Ross warned there was a nationwide ‘maelstrom’ of similar acts of violence.

Thames Valley Police published crime statistics for Oxford in January.

These covered the whole of last year and can be compared to previous years to judge whether more of these types of crimes were reported.

There was a stark increase in offences involving violence with injury last year.

In 2018, 1,370 were recorded compared to 1,155 the year before - a 18.6 per cent increase.

There was also an increase in possession of weapons offences.

Oxford Mail:

In 2018 there were 137 recorded in Oxford with 126 the year before - a 8.7 per cent increase.

Thames Valley Police's former Chief Constable Sara Thornton has said the surge in knife crime across the country is a ‘national emergency.’

The force's head of major crime Detective Superintendent Ian Hunter told the Oxford Mail earlier this year that it was braced for more incidents involving knives.

Mr Hunter said he wanted to see an increased use of stop and search powers to deter people from carrying weapons.

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The sometimes controversial tactic has been used far less in the last decade due to declining numbers of officers and changes in policy.

He said: "More murders are sadly being committed with a knife in stabbings so I think how we can try and redress that situation and ensure less people are carrying knives.

"Clearly it's about education but policing has a role to play in that as well.

"This may include an increase in stop and search which of course is sometimes an emotive issue for some.

"But properly targeted and professionally delivered, it can remove knives from public places and can help to disrupt those intent on causing harm."