Cleveland Police to stage knife amnesty as crime commissioner calls for Prime Minister to provide cash to combat youth violence

Blades hand into Cleveland Police during a previous knife amnesty.
Blades hand into Cleveland Police during a previous knife amnesty.

People are being urged to hand over knives during a week-long campaign starting on Monday

Surrender bins will be placed at the main police stations, including in Hartlepool and police officers and PCSOs will visit schools to raise awareness of the dangers of knives and sharp objects.

Cleveland's Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger.

Cleveland's Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger.

Cleveland Police says the aim is to educate young people and deter them from engaging in knife crime and violence.

During a week-long campaign in October 2018, over 100 knives and sharp objects were surrendered and 170 knives and sharp objects were surrendered in June 2017.

In the 12-month period up to December 2018 there were 415 knife crime incidents in Cleveland, a reduction of 10% on the previous year.

It comes as Police and Crime Commissioner for Cleveland, Barry Coppinger has joined police leaders nationwide this week write to Prime Minister Theresa May calling for investment in youth services to combat violence.

Superintendent Wendy Tinkler, lead on knife crime within Cleveland Police, said: “It’s really important that we do all that we can to take knives off the streets. The simple fact is that in the wrong hands, knives can be deadly.

“We will continue our work in relation to educating the younger generation on the dangers of getting involved in knife crime and helping them to feel empowered to challenge certain behaviours. We are working together with partner agencies and with local communities to raise awareness and to prevent and reduce the risk of knife crime and serious violence.

“I would urge anyone with knives or sharp objects to surrender to do so by attending one of our main police stations in Stockton, Hartlepool, Kirkleatham or Middlesbrough between 8am and 8pm next week.”

Police and Crime Commissioner for Cleveland, Barry Coppinger, said: “It is only right that we do all we can both locally and nationally to prevent and reduce knife crime. Late last year I secured more than £500,000 from the Early Intervention Youth Fund for working with young people on violence and knife crime.

“I provide funding for three School Liaison Officers who work in schools across Cleveland to deter children from crime. These officers have been delivering 10-week programmes in both primary and secondary schools on knife crime.

“I have also been looking at ways of working together with other agencies, including public health, to address issues in relation to tackling violence and in Cleveland we have invested in a member of staff to drive this work forward.

“Knife crime is a priority on my agenda and just this week I joined police leaders across the country to press the Government for more resources to deal with knife crime by writing to the Prime Minister for investment in youth services to combat violence.”

Anyone with knives or sharp objects that they want to surrender can do so by attending one of our main police stations in Stockton, Hartlepool, Kirkleatham or Middlesbrough between 8am and 8pm next week.