Parents are also being told to speak to their children about the issue, with chiefs admitting “you may hear some upsetting and concerning things about what your child is involved in”. Nationally, knife crime has fallen by one per cent. But in London, it is down by 17 per cent. Stabbings involving those under 25 have fallen by a quarter in the capital, chiefs revealed.
Officers across the country are this week targeting known knife carriers, setting up knife detectors in town and city centres to take more blades off the streets and hunting for weapons hidden in parks and neighbourhoods.
Border Force will also seize illegal knives being imported into the UK.
Chiefs say the crackdown – dubbed Operation Sceptre – “builds on the work we do with partners like Border Force and Trading Standards to stop the flow of illegal and dangerous knives that end up in the hands of our young people”.
Asked if communities are beginning to tip off the authorities, Commander Jane Connors told the Daily Express: “I think so. The neighbourhoods feel they can come to the police. They can speak to the local authorities. They can speak to the youth organisations which have a huge voice.
“It is really important that the communities make that hardest of phone calls to say that people have started carrying knives.
“They know who the young people are. They have watched them grow up.”
Scotland Yard said violent crime among under 25s in the capital has fallen by a quarter as police ramp up stop and search, community engagement programmes, education schemes in schools and bring together senior police officers and social services to tailor packages to help young people.
Superintendent Chris Downey, Greater Manchester Police’s knife crime lead, said: “A large part of our work is with young people, educating them on the impact knives can have not just on individuals, but on families and communities.
“Unfortunately this year due to Covid-19 restrictions, some of our intended work has had to be scaled back. So I am asking parents, guardians and extended family members, to talk to your young family members about knife crime as you can all play a vital role in preventing them from becoming involved.
“We advise you to try to talk to them openly about the dangers, as well as the life-changing consequences that come from carrying a knife. Many young people do so because they are afraid for their own safety and they believe a knife will protect them.
“So it’s important that they realise that the chances of becoming a victim of knife crime increases just by carrying one. Sharing your own fears can also help, as this can help them open up.
“You may hear some upsetting and concerning things about what your child, and their friends may be involved in, but try not to get upset or overreact as you don’t have to deal with this on your own.”
The heartbroken mum and sister of murdered Nottingham teenager Ezekiel Clarke, 17, have made
an emotional plea from his graveside – urging young people not to carry knives.
Ezekiel died on February 19 after he was stabbed twice. His killers were locked up in August. Mum Julie said: “Ezekiel was a happy boy who loved life. He was very caring and funny.
“I miss everything now he’s gone – his noise, his laughter, doing his hair, him running up and down the stairs, playing his loud music and even the arguments we had.
“The last time I saw him was before I went to work that day. He was having a laugh with his brother in the hallway because he was trying to do press-ups.
“That was the last laugh we had. Since he’s been gone I’ve realised how quiet the house is.”
Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “Knife crime causes misery and fear and this Government will not tolerate it.
“I have backed the police with more powers and resources to bear down on serious violence, and we are taking action to stop young people being drawn into crime.”