ALMOST 500 weapons were seized in Sussex during a week of action to tackle knife crime.

Numerous arrests were made including a teenager in the possession of a catapult and an Eastbourne man caught with 50 wraps of crack cocaine and heroin.

The dedicated week of action, titled Operation Sceptre, formed part of a national campaign of education and enforcement aimed at tackling knife crime and serious violence.

It ran from November 15 to November 21.

In Sussex alone, police officers seized 496 weapons.

A total of 255 of those were in East Sussex, 145 in West Sussex and a further 96 were in Brighton and Hove.

The Argus: Police searching for weapons Police searching for weapons

A total of 195 stop searches were conducted and 41 arrests were made.

In Brighton and Hove, arrests were made for offences including possession of an offensive weapon, dealing Class A drugs, robbery, vehicle theft and threats to kill.

More than 3,600 people passed through the metal-detecting “knife arches” at Brighton Station as part of a joint operation with British Transport Police and Govia Thameslink Railway.

Four knives were seized at the railway station as a result.

In Eastbourne, two arrests were made for intent to supply Class A drugs after 50 wraps of crack cocaine and heroin were recovered.

In Hastings, 16-year-old boy was arrested after a catapult was recovered during a stop check, and a number of weapons were also seized from an address in the town following a warrant.

A 17-year-old boy was arrested and charged with possession of a bladed article and assaulting an emergency worker following reports of a person with a knife at Ravenside Retail Park in Bexhill. The boy was remanded into the care of the local authority.

Police officers also engaged with more than 3,000 people to discuss the dangers and consequences of knife crime.

The Argus: Police using metal detectors Police using metal detectors

Chief Inspector Simon Yates said the week of action yielded “fantastic results”.

“This was through a combination of proactive patrols, warrants, amnesty bins, stop searches and weapon sweeps,” he said.

"We also engaged with hundreds of people at schools, community events and via our knife crime engagement van, highlighting the dangers and consequences of carrying and using a knife.

"Our work to tackle knife crime doesn't stop once the week of action ends; we will continue to proactively tackle offenders and use initiatives to help prevent serious violence and keep our communities safe."

Chief Inspector Yates added: “Our message is simple: carrying a knife does not make you safer.

“It puts you at increased risk of harm and you could end up with a criminal record if you’re found in possession of a weapon.

“There is help out there for those who do not feel safe, and we always have amnesty bins in police stations where you can drop off blades so they can be safely disposed of.”