A RISE in weapons possession is partly a result of greater awareness from the public, a Wiltshire police boss has said.

Home Office figures released last week showed a 25 per cent rise in reports of weapons possession offences in the county last year.

Sonja Leith, head of crime prevention at Wiltshire Police, said: “The rise around the possession of weapons is partly down to the strong, proactive work that is being continued by us and our partners in raising awareness; encouraging the public to report those who choose to carry weapons for criminal reasons.

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“It is important to note that the vast majority of these types of offences involve people who are known to each other and very often are related to wider criminality, including drug dealing and County Lines operations."

The Wiltshire force was "never complacent when it comes to knife crime", she added and encouraged people to report their concerns to police.