YOUTHS who carry knives have been warned they could face a lengthy stretch behind bars after a blade amnesty saw officers conduct a week-long operation across Barnsley.

Although the town is South Yorkshire’s least affected area for knife crime, rising concerns about youngsters arming themselves for either status or protection saw Barnsley included in Operation Sceptre earlier this month.

Police conducted stop and searches, positioned a knife arch in Barnsley Interchange and carried out open land searches in a bid to find discarded weapons.

Det Chf Insp Paul Murphy said: “The reality is that if you carry a knife, you’re three times more likely to be a victim of knife crime. It’s a startling statistic but it’s a fact.

“Sceptre’s been in Barnsley for two years now as it’s an absolute priority for the force to protect our community. We’ve been engaging in the right way in order to understand the root cause of the issue.

“It’s not big and it’s not clever to carry a knife.”

Officers working on Operation Sceptre also executed a warrant at a house on Vincent Road, Lundwood, seizing drugs, cash and weapons following a tip-off from residents.

After searching the house, officers found and seized ten large bags of cannabis, £3,000 in cash and three weapons.

Two men, aged 29 and 57, were arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply and bailed pending further enquiries.