TWO items found at Taunton railway station by police officers with a screening device have been “surrendered for destruction”. 

Avon and Somerset Police are currently engaged in Operation Sceptre, a national campaign focused on enforcement, education, and engagement around knife crime. 

As part of the twice-yearly operation (running between Monday, May 16 and Sunday, May 22), officers are sweeping open spaces where weapons may be stored or hidden and carrying out high-visibility patrols to deter crime or violence. 

A tweet on the Avon and Somerset Police West Somerset said today: “As part of Op Sceptre, we have been out across Taunton raising awareness of knife crime. 

“Alongside our colleagues at the British Transport Police, we deployed a screening device at Taunton train station.

“During this operation, two items were surrendered for destruction.”

Operation Spectre has also seen officers deliver talks to children about the dangers and consequences of carrying knives; run 'Blunt Truth' workshops with NHS partners, host pop-up information stands, and launch knife surrender bins at Bath and Wellington police stations. 

Yesterday, two PCSOs were in Taunton town centre with a banner van to raise awareness of the dangers of carrying a knife.

Inspector Mike Vass, Avon and Somerset Police's tactical lead for knife crime, said: “Far too often we are seeing lives senselessly lost or forever changed and families left devastated by knife crime.

“We take robust and ongoing enforcement action all year around to deter the carrying of knives, disrupt the activities of those intent on using weapons in criminal activity and bring perpetrators to justice. 

“We also recognise the vulnerability of many people caught up in carrying knives and help them to access support.”

Somerset County Gazette: Two items were 'surrendered for destruction' in a police operation involving a screening device at Taunton station. Picture: Google Street ViewTwo items were 'surrendered for destruction' in a police operation involving a screening device at Taunton station. Picture: Google Street View

Knife crime includes any crimes that involve the use of a sharpened weapon or blade.

It is illegal to sell to or buy knives from under 18s.

Police say self-protection is not a reasonable excuse for carrying a weapon and possession of a knife carries a prison sentence of up to four years, even if it is not used.

The force is also involved in Operation Aztec alongside Sceptre, during firearms and ammunition can be surrendered for safe disposal.

Operation Aztec began yesterday and will end on May 29.