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Police support nationwide knife surrender operation

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Carrying knives on Lancashire’s streets is unacceptable – and police are encouraging residents to hand in the weapons as part of a national knife surrender campaign.

From Tuesday (September 18) Lancashire Police is urging members of the public to dispose of knives anonymously at stations across the county.

The week-long surrender is part of Operation Sceptre, a move to remove dangerous weapons from the street, reduce knife crime and raise awareness of the dangers and consequences of carrying a knife.

Chief Insp Mark Baines, Lancashire Police’s co-ordinator for the knife surrender, said: “While knife crime is not a major problem in the county, a knife is a lethal weapon – even one on Lancashire’s streets is one too many.

“During our last campaign in February, 106 knives were surrendered to police. Among the weapons given up were combat knives, kitchen knives and large blades.

“I hope that our communities will again help us to remove such items and help to keep everyone safe.

“If anyone is in possession of a knife and is unsure what to do about it, I would urge them to take this opportunity to dispose of it anonymously and safely.

“In particular, I want to appeal to youngsters who may be tempted to carry a knife because they believe it offers them protection. Having a knife in a public place is a criminal offence, with young people more likely to be stabbed and seriously injured with their own weapon.

“I would also ask people to provide us with information about knife crime in their area.

“If you know your partner regularly carries or uses such weapons, please encourage them to hand these weapons in over the next week without fear of prosecution.

“Don’t run the risk of ending up with a criminal record, a life-changing or even worse a potentially fatal injury.”

There will be special bins at eight designated police stations countywide. Anyone will be able to anonymously dispose of a weapon, whether it belongs to them, a friend or a relative.

Knife bins will be available at the following designated police stations:

  • Burnley
  • Greenbank (Blackburn)
  • Preston
  • Morecambe
  • Nelson
  • Blackpool (Bonny Street)
  • Fleetwood
  • Morecambe

Further bins will be in place in Skelmersdale at the Tanhouse and Digmoor Community Stations.

Any knives or offensive weapons which are too large for the bins can be handed in at the front counters at the designated police stations, and residents are asked to ensure the knives are wrapped in newspaper, cardboard or tape before they are dropped in the bins or handed in.

Chief Insp Baines added: “Lancashire Constabulary has a zero tolerance policy toward possession of knives in public, and I want to reassure residents that will continue during the surrender.

“If anyone is found in possession of a knife during the surrender – and is clearly not en-route to a police station to hand it over – they will be dealt with appropriately.

“You can be arrested, go to court and receive a police record or even a prison sentence of up to four years and an unlimited fine.

“If you have information about the possession of knives or offensive weapons or criminal activity relating to this type of crime, make a report online via the Lancashire Constabulary website.

“You can also anonymously report information to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”

Clive Grunshaw, Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner added:

“I fully support Lancashire Constabulary’s involvement in this campaign to remove knives from our streets. Time and again we see the tragic impact on people’s lives as a consequence of them being used.

“Knives are deadly weapons and you will be arrested and prosecuted if you are caught carrying one. If you own a dangerous knife I’d urge you to protect both yourself and those around you by handing it in safely and anonymously.

“Campaigns such as this play an important role in reducing crime and re-offending, a key priority in my Police and Crime Plan. I’m committed to making our neighbourhoods safer and anything that helps to achieve this can only be a good thing.”

The surrender is from Tuesday, September 18, to Monday, September 24.


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