DORSET Police has been increasing its drive to combat knife crime in the county.

The force is participating in a national campaign to raise awareness around knife carrying out knife crime, including enhanced enforcement, engagement and education.

The campaign, led by the National Police Chiefs Council, ran from Monday, May 14 to Sunday, May 18.

The week's key focus was raising awareness about the consequences and dangers of carrying a knife.

During the week, various educational activities occurred, including using knife arches in schools, colleges, and public spaces.

Superintendent Gavin House, the Neighbourhood, Partnership, and Safeguarding lead at Dorset Police and the lead for knife crime, said: "We plan to use the arches as an educational tool to get people talking about the dangers of knife crime."

The police put the arches in 'hot spots' and took note of people who appeared suspicious or actively avoided the arch.

If they suspect a person is carrying a knife, they can use knife wands to search people' in a less intrusive manner'.

Test purchases of knives  took place with local retailers.

The force also engaged with retailers, ensuring they are aware of who they are selling knives to and they are following the appropriate safety guidelines for legal selling and distribution.

Knife surrender bins were provided at Bournemouth, Poole and Weymouth Police Stations during the week of activity.

Those who carry knives were encouraged to surrender them without question or repercussions from police to help keep themselves and others safe.

Chief Superintendent Heather Dixey, Local Policing Commander for Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole, said:  "Although there are weeks of action like this one, I want to reassure the public that we remain active throughout the year in preventing knife crime and remaining vigilant around knife carrying.

"Dorset Police will do all we can to remove knives from our streets and pursue those who chose to carry them and commit offences."

Police and Crime Commissioner for Dorset David Sidwick added: "There is no room for complacency, and I want to assure you that the ongoing efforts to stop another family suffering a tragic loss are relentless.

"Tackling knife crime is a priority but cannot be solved through policing alone. Through robust collaboration, a multi-agency approach, and the help of the public, we can all ensure Dorset is a safe place."