MORE than 2,100 dangerous weapons have been taken off the streets and 10,000 arrests made by a knife crime-fighting police team.

West Yorkshire Police's Operation Jemlock has been dedicated to reducing serious violence and knife crime since 2019.

As of the end of January this year, officers had made 10,046 arrests, with recent arrests including suspects caught carrying weapons and persons brought in on suspicion of robbery.

Some recent items seized by the team included a samurai-style knife and a homemade knuckle duster.

West Yorkshire Police said arrests made by the team have led to continued reductions in numbers of knife crime and serious violence.

The force said knife crime is "substantially lower now than it was when Jemlock was formed in 2019".

But the work comes amid the backdrop of several fatal incidents across Bradford and its surrounding areas.

Last November, three Bradford men, along with one from Huddersfield, were found guilty of killing a teenager by stabbing him 14 times in a tragic case of mistaken identity.

​Karl Belinga, 20, of Brendon Walk in Holme Wood, Karlson Ogie, 19, of Bierley House Avenue in Bierley, and Paul Mbwasse, 19, of Walpole Road in Huddersfield murdered 17-year-old Trust Gangata in Armley, Leeds.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: MenBrandon Paradzai, 20, of Coleshill Way in Bierley, was also found guilty of manslaughter.

In November 2023, Haidar Shah, 19, and Joshua Clark, 21 died following a stabbing in Halifax town centre.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Rashane Douglas, 19, of Jade Place in Huddersfield, is to stand trial at Bradford Crown Court after pleading not guilty to their murders.

Alfie Lewis, 15, died following an alleged attack outside a school in Horsforth.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:
A 14-year-old boy accused of stabbing him to death denies murdering Alfie and will stand trial later this year. 

And last December, two teenagers were sentenced to life in prison after admitting the murder of 17-year-old Harley Brown in a brutal attack.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Harley Brown
West Yorkshire Police said Operation Jemlock continues to deploy officers in knife crime hot spots across the county, providing an extra visible policing presence of specialist officers to deter offending and proactively hunt down offenders.

Police operations to reduce knife crime are bolstered by partnership work, including with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority-hosted Violence Reduction Partnership.  

The Violence Reduction Partnership, which was established in 2019, funds key knife crime intervention work across communities to try and prevent offending from taking place.  

In 2022/23 it worked with 46 organisations and supported more than 14,000 young people under the age of 25 to tackle serious violence.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: West Yorkshire Police say arrests made by the team have led to continued reductions in numbers of knife crime and serious violence.West Yorkshire Police say arrests made by the team have led to continued reductions in numbers of knife crime and serious violence. (Image: West Yorkshire Police)Chief Inspector James Kitchen, force lead for Operation Jemlock, said: “Continuing to reduce knife crime and raising awareness of the dangers of carrying knives absolutely remains a key priority for the force heading into 2024, just as it does in communities.

“The team has now made in excess of 10,000 arrests since it was established in 2019, with more than 2,000 dangerous weapons seized.

“Those numbers have contributed to knife offending falling across West Yorkshire and fewer people being victims of knife offending and violent crime.”

He added: “Our enforcement operations and patrols to take offenders and weapons off the streets continue as does the huge investment in knife crime awareness work in communities, and young people within them in particular.

“It is no exaggeration to say that police and partners have now engaged with tens of thousands of young people across West Yorkshire about the dangers of carrying knives.  

“We are confident the vast majority of those teenagers don’t, and won’t, carry such weapons, and would also stress that the vast majority of our young people are not involved in this kind of offending.    

“Operation Jemlock remain resolute in our drive to catch and convict those who continue to carry knives.

"The message from communities, families and friends couldn’t be any clearer that it is never acceptable to carry knives.

"For those who continue to put their and others’ lives at risk, it will only be a matter of time before you are arrested or the victim of knife crime. “