Hundreds of arrests in West Yorkshire as weapons seized in police sting

Hundreds of arrests have been made and dozens of weapons have been seized in summer operations by a West Yorkshire police unit

By Daniel Sheridan
Wednesday, 19th August 2020, 4:45 pm

West Yorkshire Police’s Operation Jemlock is to continue its active patrols in hotspot areas in Kirklees District as part of its ongoing work to cut knife crime and violent crime in West Yorkshire.

Since April 2020, Jemlock officers have made 236 arrests in the Kirklees District and seized 64 weapons including kitchen knives and suspected replica pistols, according to police.

Recent activity has included the seizure of a long bladed kitchen knife from a teenage male in Huddersfield on August 9, and the confiscation from a male of a long bladed knife on July 21, following a report that a male had been seen hiding a knife in a bush.

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Op Jemlock

Officers attended the location in Rawthorpe and spotted a 17-year-old male near to the scene, who made off from officers.

He was arrested and following a search a knife was found at the location.

Police also recovered two suspected replica handguns and a knife from a house Birstall after attended a report of threatening behaviour. Again, a man was arrested in connection with the offences.

The weapons, which the owner said were replicas, were sent for testing.

Operation Jemlock was launched in April 2019 in response to rising violence and knife crime. It was created following a meeting between Chief Constable, John Robins QPM and with the Home Secretary and other chief officers in March 2019.

Following that meeting, a number of police forces were given additional Home Office funding to tackle the issue of serious violence.

Further funding for a second financial year was allocated in April 2020 and it ensured the operation was able to continue.

Jemlock officers have made more than 3,100 arrests across West Yorkshire since April 2019 and contributed to a 12 per cent reduction in knife crime across the force.

Superintendent Damon Solley, who leads Operation Jemlock, said: “We have maintained active deployments in Kirklees throughout this year and worked closely to support our colleagues in Kirklees District in reducing violent crime.

“Clearly we have continued to build on our operations in 2019 and I’m really pleased that my officers have contributed in a significant fashion to public safety in the district by making hundreds of arrests and seizing 64 weapons since this April.

“Our officers have been deploying in key areas across Kirklees to target known offenders, carry out visible patrols, utilise stop and search where appropriate and respond to incidents of violence.

“We have also attended at ongoing reports of crime such as a report of suspicious activity at a property in Huddersfield in May at which the team discovered a large cannabis factory.”

Detective Superintendent Jim Griffiths of Kirklees Police, said: “Violent crime has been reducing in Kirklees District and the activities of Operation Jemlock have played a real role in this and in bolstering work ongoing by Kirklees detectives and police officers.

“Knife crime in Kirklees District was down by 27 per cent between April 2019 and March 2020, compared to the year before, and those positive trends are continuing as officers continue operations to take weapons off our streets.

“Of course there is much more to be done, and we continue to target the use of weapons at all levels ranging from lone individuals carrying knives, to the use of firearms by organised crime gangs.

“Our message remains that the carrying of any type of weapon is absolutely not acceptable and will not be tolerated by the police or by the communities we serve.

“If you have information about the possession or use of weapons please do not to keep this information to yourself and please contact the police.

“Kirklees Police can be contacted directly through 101 or calls can be made direct to Crimestoppers in complete anonymity on 0800 555 111.

“All information is assessed, investigated, and does help us get those weapons off our streets.”

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Thank you

Laura Collins