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Amnesty to tackle knife crime

19 Oct 2017

Amnesty bins will be located at police stations in the county next week as part of a national initiative to tackle knife crime.

Police forces across the country will take part in Operation Sceptre, allowing members of the public to hand in knives without prosecution.

The last amnesty was held in July and resulted in 85 knives being recovered.

From Monday (23 October) amnesty bins will be located at Thorpe Wood Police Station and Bayard Place in Peterborough, Parkside Police Station in Cambridge, as well as police stations in Cambourne, Ely, March, Huntingdon and Wisbech.

From July 2016 to June 2017 there were 220 possession of weapons offences in Cambridgeshire. Of these, 117 were in Peterborough, 49 in Cambridge and 12 in Wisbech.

It is illegal to:  

  • sell a knife of any kind to anyone under 18 years old.
  • carry a knife in public without good reason - unless it’s a knife with a folding blade 3 inches long (7.62 cm) or less, eg a Swiss Army knife
  • carry, buy or sell any type of banned knife
  • use any knife in a threatening way (even a legal knife, such as a Swiss Army knife)

The maximum penalty for an adult carrying a knife is four years in prison and a fine of £5,000.

Chief Inspector Marcia Pringle said: “People carrying knives, particularly young people, do so without understanding the real consequences of using them. The devastation that is caused to the victims who are seriously injured or fatally wounded, their families, the life outcomes for the person using the knife and the communities in which crime occurs. 

“Being in possession of a knife in a public place is unlawful in most circumstances. If you’re found to be carrying a knife in a public place you’re likely to be arrested and convicted with heavy fines and a lifelong criminal record imposed by the court.

“During the amnesty week we will join police forces across the country in combating knife crime. As part of the operation, amnesty bins will be positioned at locations where members of the public can hand in their knives without fear of prosecution.

“Families and friends have an important role in preventing serious harm by encouraging someone they know who carries a knife to hand it in at one of the amnesty locations. That one small action is enough to save a life.”

Anyone who knows someone who carries a knife can also report it anonymously by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or visiting https://crimestoppers-uk.org/.

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