A TOTAL of 221 knives and swords were handed in to police in Craven and across North Yorkshire during national week of action Operation Sceptre.

Although levels of knife crime are low in North Yorkshire, taking part in the campaign, which ended on Sunday, September 23, helped keep North Yorkshire one of the safest counties in England, say police.

The bladed items, which were surrendered at bins located at Skipton Police Station, and others around the county, included hunting knives and swords.

Police say all could have been potential weapons if they had got into the wrong hands, and they all will now be destroyed.

As part of the campaign, schools, colleges and universities were provided with materials and advice to help educate young people about the dangers of carrying knives.

And, working with North Yorkshire County Council, teenage police cadets carried out test purchases for knives from retailers both in person and online retailers. Out of 11 who were tested only two passed and refused to sell knives or bladed articles to the cadets. Written warnings have been sent to those who failed and they will be monitored.

Sergeant Neil Northend who helped co-ordinate the week of action, said: “Even though levels of knife crime in North Yorkshire are low we must not be complacent and we work hard to take these weapons off our streets.”