A FORCE-wide operation created to combat serious violence and knife crime in West Yorkshire has reached another major milestone.

Over 4,000 arrests have now been made by officers as part of Operation Jemlock, while more than 500 weapons have also been seized.

In the 18 months from April 2019 - when Operation Jemlock started - to October 2020, compared with the 18 month period prior to that, the following reductions have been achieved, West Yorkshire Police says:

  • All knife crime is down by 13.4 per cent.
  • Overall, robberies are down by 20.8 per cent.
  • Robberies involving a sharp implement are down by 28.2 per cent.

Operation Jemlock was launched over a year-and-a-half ago after Chief Constable John Robins met with the Home Secretary, as West Yorkshire was given additional funding to tackle knife crime and reduce violence.

Superintendent Damon Solley, Force Lead for Violent Crime Reduction and Operation Jemlock, said: “Since Operation Jemlock started we have made some significant progress in making arrests and seizing weapons.

“There has been a real commitment by officers working on the operation to achieve such excellent results.

“These reductions in crimes of violence are outstanding and the result of the hard work of those officers working on the operation.

“For me, the single most important outcome is the reduction in the numbers of victims.

“When you compare the 18 months of Operation Jemlock with the same period prior to that, we have seen over 500 fewer victims of knife crime and over 1000 fewer victims of robbery.

“Regrettably, we still see violence happening on our streets, but I am determined to maintain the focus and work with our Violence Reduction Unit, supporting projects to steer people away from violence”. 

Mark Burns-Williamson, West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), said: “These are impressive crime reduction results and I want to thank everyone involved in this operation from the ground up, they have undoubtedly made a significant difference to the overall safety of our communities.

“Operation Jemlock is working alongside the West Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit (VRU), which I officially launched earlier this year, and together they are helping to keep our communities safe and feeling safe. The VRU is dedicated to working in partnership towards a better understanding and targeting of the root causes of violent crime in helping to prevent further harm.”

“Early intervention and prevention work is vital - people need to understand that carrying a knife or weapon can lead to serious, often devastating consequences and destroy lives.

"Collectively, we will do all we can to prevent people from making such harmful decisions in the first place, through joint activity and initiatives, throughout West Yorkshire.”