Knife amnesty launched in Wiltshire

Knife amnesty launched in Wiltshire

Published by Faye Tryhorn at 5:29am 18th September 2018.

People who carry knives in the county are being urged to hand them in to police this month... no questions asked.

The amnesty, which runs until Sunday September 30th, is part of the nationwide Op Sceptre, aiming to tackle a growing knife crime culture across the country.

In Wiltshire, there were 800 knife offences between August 2017 and July 2018 - that's down 3% on the year before.

But the force is looking to get more weapons off the streets during the campaign.

HOW CAN WE HAND KNIVES IN TO WILTSHIRE POLICE?

The amnesty has seen collection points set up in police stations across the county.

The nearest one to us at the temporary site at the back of Five Rivers Leisure Centre in Salisbury.

We're told there'll be clear signposts to where we can hand in any weapons.

Sergeant David Tippets from Wiltshire Police says it will be a simple process to give in any knives:

"They're just big red bins in the enquiry office, you just pop the knife in there, amd walk out. You don't have to leave any details of who you are. Just walk in, put your knife into the bin and leave."

During the amnesty, those handing in knives and weapons will not face prosecution for possession of a knife or weapon and can remain anonymous.

WHY A KNIFE AMNESTY IN WILTSHIRE?

Of the 43 forces across England & Wales, Wiltshire had the 29th highest number of serious knife crimes reported. However, for possession offences Wiltshire ranked 34th of 43.

Assistant Chief Constable Gavin Williams said:

"We want to raise the awareness of the dangers of carrying a knife or owning an illegal weapon. As a county Wiltshire cannot be compared to what is happening in cities like London or Manchester but we cannot be complacent; we must take action to educate the public and do what we can to remove knives from our streets.

"Most people in Wiltshire or even in the country don't carry a knife; it should not be considered the 'norm'. A very small minority choose to leave the house with a knife or blade, but the reality is they themselves are more likely to get injured. .

"During the amnesty we are encouraging people to hand in illegal knives such as Zombie knives, Butterfly knives, Flick knives, Machetes and Lock knives. This is a chance to avoid prosecution by disposing of knives safely in an amnesty bin.

"Even one knife off the streets is one less that can be used to harm or threaten our communities."

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