Keeping weapons and knives off our streets is one of the biggest challenges we all face today, writes Paddy Tipping, Police and Crime Commissioner for Nottinghamshire.
There is so much work going on in Mansfield and Ashfield and across Nottinghamshire to guide young people in the right direction.
Here at Nottinghamshire Police, we are investing in youth engagement and education, and giving young people a choice about their future.
But in the here and now, people still continue to carry weapons and present a real danger to themselves and others.
In these circumstances, only tough action will do.
A series of proactive policing operations have taken place in Mansfield town centre and the Layton Burroughs area recently as part of a hard-hitting crackdown on knife and drug-related crime.
During these operations, officers have used a mobile metal- detecting arch around key locations to identify those carrying knives.
Police have also carried out weapon searches while a passive drugs dog and CCTV surveillance were used to identify suspects and suspicious activity.
While Mansfield has not seen a significant increase in knife crime, it is vital police use the full force of the law in this way to seize weapons and apprehend offenders at every opportunity.
Carrying a weapon today could cost you your freedom and future and it’s extremely important to convey that through robust enforcement.
Through this operation, a number of weapons were recovered.
One of the many positives of large scale, visible operations like this is the reassurance the police provide to local people.
And many have expressed their gratitude for the recent operation.
Day after day, knife crime dominates headlines.
It paints a very bleak picture of city life and has a detrimental impact on our feelings of safety.
Every one of us has the right to feel safe in our towns and cities and with additional resources behind the police, these kinds of crackdowns will become much more frequent.
The police neighbourhood teams have been equally proactive in the Ashfield area, executing drugs warrants at properties in Hucknall and Kirkby, and recovering drugs.
Community intelligence is proving invaluable in the fight against drug-related crime and the more information people report to police the bigger the results.
Proactive enforcement will always be necessary but in the long term, the police hope to change many young lives.
We are all teachers whether we are parents, youth workers, doctors or police officers.
We have a responsibility to show young people they are capable of so much more than crime and violence.
It is a joint effort.