Knife amnesty calls on people to hand over blades without fear of prosecution

Knives handed in to police during a previous amnesty campaign.
Knives handed in to police during a previous amnesty campaign.

A campaign is urging people to hand over potentially deadly weapons as a week-long amnesty begins.

Cleveland Police is once again supporting a national knife amnesty under the name Operation Sceptre in a bid to tackle knife crime.

It runs from today until Monday.

Last year, the effort saw 106 knives and sharp objects handed in.

During 2016, police in Cleveland received hundreds of reports where a knife or sharp implement was used.

They included eight attempted murders, 39 incidents where threats to kill were made and 96 robberies, with 489 vehicles damaged.

Officers will be actively encouraging people to surrender their knives or sharp objects without fear of prosecution.

Those with objects to surrender can put them in the knife bins available at Hartlepool, as well as Midddlesbrough, Kirkleatham and Stockton, between 8am and 8pm.

Sergeant Vince Wood said: “Knives and sharp objects can be deadly if weapons are in the wrong hands and this campaign is an excellent way to encourage people to surrender their bladed or offensive weapons anonymously.

“The aim of this campaign is to reduce the opportunity of violent crime taking place, to keep our communities safe and keep people from harm.

“Last year’s amnesty was extremely successful and this year we would like more people to hand in their sharp objects and knives safely in the designated knife bins.”

Police and Crime Commissioner for Cleveland, Barry Coppinger, added: “I’ve always supported this campaign and firmly believe that our communities will be much safer if people take the opportunity to surrender their knives and sharp objects to keep them off our streets.”

Once items are surrendered they will be safely disposed of.

Anyone who has information about knife crime can contact police on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.