MORE police officers will be trained to use tasers with more warrants executed in as part of more than £1.7 million of funding to fight knife crime in Essex.

Essex Police have stated the £1.76 million secured from the Home Office will be used to continue Operation Sceptre that was launched on April 1.

Since then, more than 93 people have been arrested for various offences and knife crime offenders targeted.

In the next nine months the money will be used to carry out enforcement action in violent crime hotspots, target people known to carry knives with stop and search powers and search warrants and invest in equipment including knife arches, drugs analysis testing equipment and training more officers to use Tasers.

The 93 arrests include executing a warrant in Colchester, which resulted in three arrests and the discovery of more than 100 wraps of suspected class A drugs.

More than 1,480 stop checks, 250 stop and searches and more than 1,020 vehicles have been stopped.

More than 198 intelligence reports have been submitted for Southend, Colchester and Thurrock, which will now be widened to more of the county.

Assistant Chief Constable Paul Wells said: “Every day, our officers see first-hand the devastating effects of violent crime and the pain and suffering it causes.

“Behind every statistic we see victims and their loved ones whose lives are changed irreparably by needless violence.

“We also see offenders who must not only be brought to justice but rehabilitated so that they can’t harm anyone else.

“We are absolutely committed to doing everything we can to drive down violent crime, using the powers and resources available to us.

“Every day we are working hard to get offenders off the streets and to protect the most vulnerable victims.

“The extra funding from the Home Office will help us do even more, particularly in building on our partnership work with other organisations to tackle the complex issues behind why these crimes are committed.

“This is a battle that we as a community must fight together. That includes educating our children about the reality of being involved in gangs and the reality that carrying a knife will not protect them but put them at more risk of being hurt or of hurting someone.

“It’s about showing people there are alternatives to take their lives in a positive direction and helping them to do that.”

Knife crime is just one area of serious violent crime and the reasons behind why these offences are committed are extremely complex.

Essex Police say knife crimes are closely associated with factors such as drug and alcohol dependency, gangs and domestic abuse, with wider socio-economic issues such as poverty, poor mental health, and lack of opportunities.

ACC Paul Wells added: “The public also has a major role to play in helping us to tackle knife crime. “We urge you to report anyone that you know is carrying a knife. You can do this anonymously via Fearless who will pass on any reports to us.

“We know that you might not want somebody close to you to get in trouble for carrying a knife but by helping us take knives off the street, you could be saving somebody’s life and saving their family, friends and the wider community from a lifetime of devastation.”