Police Commissioner Karen Webb said when someone has a dangerous weapon in their possession, there is a "much greater likelihood" of a small-scale incident escalating into a fatal one.
Commissioner Webb was speaking after police seized more than 110 knives, 21 firearms and charged 232 people as part of a statewide crackdown on knife-related crime in response to an increase in the number of young people becoming both perpetrators and victims of knife-related offences in in the past five years.
Operation Foil II took place from Tuesday, June 14 to Saturday, June 18 to reduce the number of young people carrying knives in public and prevent violent incidents that cause significant harm.
"Our intelligence shows that some young people are increasingly carrying sharp instruments for self-defence, but they don't fully understand the potentially fatal consequences that this can have," Commissioner Webb said.
"We're trying to urge young people to think about the potential consequences of their actions, as one wrong decision can dramatically change your life."
The operation involved a two-stage approach that included highly-visible police patrols in high-risk locations, as well as Youth Command Officers visiting high schools to warn them about the risks of carrying weapons.
Police Minister Paul Toole said Operation Foil, along with other similar operations, will continue to be conducted across New South Wales to "prevent and disrupt" criminal behaviour.
"Carrying a knife, and even worse, using it to harm someone else will see you arrested, put before the courts, and potentially locked up for a very long time," Mr Toole said.
"Knife crime can forever change lives in an instant, and police will continue to proactively target and arrest anyone who poses a threat to the safety of the community."
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