Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire | WYPCC

Force-wide operation to reduce knife crime makes more than 2500 arrests

5th May 2020

A force-wide operation to reduce knife crime is continuing to have a positive impact across West Yorkshire.

More than 2,500 arrests have now been made since Operation Jemlock was launched in April 2019 in response to serious violent crime including knife enabled offending.

Officers have also removed over 150 knives and other weapons from the streets of West Yorkshire and submitted more than 4,000 pieces of intelligence to help in the fight against violent criminality.

Knife enabled serious violence has been reduced by over 10% which is a reduction of 268 offences in the last year, compared to the same period the year before.

In the same period;

  • Hospital admissions for injuries with a knife or sharp object are down 10%
  • Knife crime victims aged under 25 have reduced by 11%
  • Robberies involving a knife or sharp implement are down nearly 20%
  • All robberies are down by 15% which is a reduction of 565 offences.

Operation Jemlock began after the Chief Constable, John Robins QPM met with the Home Secretary, along with other Chief Officers in March 2019.

Following that meeting, a number of police forces were given Home Office funding to tackle knife violence.

Further funding has been allocated for this financial year and it has ensured the operation will continue to make a difference in the communities of West Yorkshire.

The 2500th arrest was made on 24th  April when Jemlock officers responded to reports of an incident in Leeds. This is another fantastic milestone reached through the hard work of the officers who work on the operation.  

In total, Operation Jemlock officers have achieved;

  • 2508 Arrests
  • 1793 Stop Searches
  • 4379 Intel Reports
  • 158 Weapon Seizures

Superintendent Damon Solley leads Operation Jemlock. He said; "Operation Jemlock has used the extra funding provided by the Home Office to place dedicated officers working extra shifts into key areas of West Yorkshire. Through specific intelligence led deployments and working alongside their district colleagues on patrol, neighbourhood and investigation teams, they have achieved outstanding results in the first year.

"Operation Jemlock has been at the forefront of our collective effort to tackle serious violence but the whole organisation has got behind it to make a real difference. The task now is to make sure we continue the hard work to reduce this type of crime as much as we possibly can and we are determined to do this. I am extremely proud of the officers and staff who have delivered this but there is no complacency. It is a tough job to tackle this crime type and reduce it. We will not let up in our determination to continue making the people of West Yorkshire safer."

West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), Mark Burns-Williamson, said: “This is a significant milestone for Operation Jemlock as West Yorkshire Police continue their targeted ‘surge’ activity into those involved with violent crime. It’s impressive to see the positive impact this dedicated work is having in the communities of West Yorkshire and important to signal that strong law enforcement into serious violent crime continues amid the impact of COVID-19.

“This operational activity compliments the work that the Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) is doing, which I officially launched a couple of months ago. The investment through the VRU has enabled us to work collaboratively with key partners including public health, education, local government, police, third/voluntary sector and prisons to better understand and tackle the key drivers of serious violence.

“Additional funding secured for both the VRU and Operation Jemlock has now been extended until 2021, allowing us to continue to make a real difference across the county and make our communities safer places for everyone. Early intervention and prevention work is vital; people need to understand that carrying a knife or weapon can lead to serious, devastating consequences and destroy lives, collectively we will do all we can to prevent people from making such harmful decisions in the first place to carry a weapon.

“Those found to be causing harm and breaking the law in this way will be, and are being, dealt with robustly. So our message is don’t do it, we are working hard together preventing serious and violent crime from occurring in our communities.”