31 knives handed in during week-long knife amnesty across Cambridgeshire
- Credit: Archant
Within just one week 31 knives were handed in across Cambridgeshire as part of a national knife amnesty - however two test purchases saw knives sold to volunteers under the age of 18.
The week-long initiative, aimed at taking weapons off the streets and tackling associated offending, included an amnesty where members of the public could hand in knives without fear of prosecution.
Knife surrender bins were based at Thorpe Wood Police Station in Peterborough and Parkside Police Station in Cambridge. Knives could also be handed into any police station with an enquiry office across the county.
Additionally, test purchases - where someone under the age of 18 attempts to buy a knife to see if they are asked for identification - were carried out at more than 15 shops across Peterborough and Huntingdon.
Two stores sold knives to the volunteers, who were under 18. One store failed to ask for ID. The other store challenged the person buying the knife for ID, but when they failed to produce some, still sold them it.
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The focus of the two operations was education and therefore advice was given to both of these stores, as well as positive feedback to the rest.
Inspector Matt Snow said: "We are pleased that we were able to take a total of 31 knives off the streets of Cambridgeshire.
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"The test purchasing also offered the chance for us to educate stores on the dangers and risks associated with selling knives to anyone under the age of 18.
"It's disappointing that two stores failed the tests, however we are working with them going forward and do all we can to ensure the relevant checks are carried out.
"Knives ruin lives and it's important we are doing all we can to tackle the issue.
"Although the knife amnesty has ended for now, I'd urge the family and friends of people who carry knives to encourage them to think twice, and consider the potentially devastating consequences of doing so.
"If anyone is found to be carrying a knife in public, they could face a hefty fine and further prosecution by the courts."
Anyone who knows someone who carries a knife can report it anonymously by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or visiting https://crimestoppers-uk.org/.
More information on knife crime is available on the force website.