Two men have been charged with knife offences, during the first week of Operation Wintershield – which is a Derbyshire wide initiative to reduce knife crime and serious violence across the county.
Operation Wintershield was launched earlier this week and announced publicly on Wednesday (17 November). The operation uses intelligence to identify hot spot areas for knife and violent crime and will involve a multi-agency approach to tackle the root causes of the issue.
On Monday (15 November) officers found a knife in a rucksack allegedly belonging to 20-year-old Mark Freeman of London Road, Derby. Mr Freeman was arrested in Morningside Close, Shelton Lock and later charged with possession of a bladed article in a public place. He was remanded to appear at court on Tuesday (16 October).
A 25-year-old man was also charged and remanded following an alleged robbery in North Avenue, Ashbourne on Wednesday afternoon. Kamil Garczynski, of no fixed address, was charged with possession of a bladed article, attempted robbery, aggravated vehicle taking, driving without insurance, driving without a licence, and theft from a shop. He was due to appear in court on Friday morning (19 November).
Also this week, officers out on patrol for Operation Wintershield made a number of arrests in Ilkeston for drug offences, theft of a motor vehicle, and assaulting an emergency worker. A 16-year-old boy was seen behaving suspiciously on a motorbike in Bloomsgrove Road, on Tuesday afternoon. He was stopped by officers and found to be in possession of class B drugs (Cannabis) and a stolen motorbike.
A 16-year-old boy and an 18-year-old man were also arrested in Park Drive on Wednesday after an officer noticed them behaving suspiciously. The pair assaulted the officer as he approached and were later found to be in possession of class A and B drugs. A discarded knife was also found nearby.
The two teenagers and the 18-year-old man have since been released under investigation, pending further enquiries.
Superintendent Sarah McAughtrie said:
“This week’s activity has been a fantastic start to Operation Wintershield and shows how seriously we are taking incidents of knife crime and violent crime across Derbyshire.
“It is also brilliant to see that officers have also been able to disrupt other criminal activity, whilst they are out on patrol.
“We have always been clear that work around knife crime and other violent crime continues in Derbyshire throughout the year and we have launched Operation Wintershield to emphasise this.
“I would like to thank the officers involved for their hard work and our local communities for the support we are being shown, as we work together to make our county safer.
“We know that intelligence is a crucial part of combatting violent crime and in safeguarding the vulnerable and would urge anyone with information about those carrying weapons to report it to us.
“We are working with partners from Derby City, Derbyshire County Council, and the Office for the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) to ensure that we take a multi-agency approach to tackling this issue and work together to try and intervene before the decision is made by someone to pick up a knife.”
Police and Crime Commissioner Angelique Foster said:
“It is good to see Operation Wintershield get off to a positive start, not only taking knives off the streets but arresting people for a range of other crimes as well.
“This clearly demonstrates how strong local policing and good intelligence can effectively address the issues that people have told me are of concern to them. This is an excellent start and delivers on one of my Police and Crime Plan key priorities and I will work with the Chief Constable to ensure that we continue to see successful outcomes.”
Operation Wintershield will run until the end of February 2022 and for its duration officers and staff will be sharing the excellent work that is going on to tackle the root cause of violent crime in Derbyshire.
You can follow the work on social media by following #OpWintershield