POLICE are clamping down on young people carrying knives in Swindon after recent high profile cases.

The announcement comes after two 16-year-olds were arrested on Thames Avenue for possession of knives and drugs.

The pair were first spotted outside Morrison's super- market at around 8.30pm on Friday and were stopped by police 20 minutes later.

They have been released on police bail until July 18, in relation to offences of possession of an offensive weapon, possession of class C drugs and, for one of the youths, possession with intent to sell drugs.

PC Yvonne Ridge, community beat manager for Moredon, said that due to a number of high profile incidents involving knives and young people, resulting in death and serious injury, Swindon Police were changing policy.

She said that young people aged 16 or under, found in possession of a bladed article, could face near certainty of being charged and brought before the courts.

Sgt Andrew Carr, who is in charge of the North Swindon Neighbourhood Policing Teams, said the crackdown was in line with government guidelines.

He said: "There is a hardcore of young people carrying knives and we will be taking a robust approach towards them. We will also be working with schools and youth organisations to get our message across."

Earlier this month the Advertiser revealed that there are four knife crimes reported in Swindon every week, and that the town's police were called to 215 incidents last year.

A 15-year-old boy was stabbed in Park South in March by a 16-year-old assailant. At the time Chief Inspector Simon Dicks said cases like this should send out a message to young people.

"Youngsters need to think of the very real dangers of carrying knives," he said.

"If they carry a knife then they are more likely to become a victim of knife crime. Not only that, there is a very real threat that they could be stopped and searched by police, be arrested and pick up a criminal conviction."

Swindon's top cop, Chief Inspector Paul Howlett said at the time that knife incidents related to a tiny fraction of the town's overall crime.

"During the last 12 months there have been just over 200 knife related reported crimes," he said.

"In general terms this equates to less than one per cent of reported crime in Swindon."