“Knives ruin lives” is police message ahead of county-wide amnesty

“Knives ruin lives” is police message ahead of county-wide amnesty. The table shows an area breakdow

“Knives ruin lives” is police message ahead of county-wide amnesty. The table shows an area breakdown of figures for the county. - Credit: Archant

“Knives ruin lives” is the message from police as they prepare to launch a county-wide amnesty.

The amnesty starts on Monday May 1 and will last for a week, allowing anyone to hand in a weapon without prosecution.

The last knife amnesty was held in October and resulted in 147 weapons being taken off the streets. Both this and the May amnesty are part of national initiative Operation Sceptre.

Amnesty bins will be situated at police stations including Ely, March and Wisbech.

There were 328 possession of weapons offences in Cambridgeshire in 2015/16, a 37.2% increase on the previous year. However, the figure is in line with a rise in offences across the country and remains below both the national and regional averages.

It is illegal to:

• sell a knife of any kind to anyone under 18 years old

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• 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.

Inspector Mark Rogers said: “We were pleased with the results of the last amnesty and we’re determined to do all we can to combat knife crime in the county. Supporting this national operation provides us with an excellent opportunity to get more knives off the streets.

“Our message for this amnesty is simple – knives ruin lives. We’re urging people to take this opportunity to dispose of weapons without fear of prosecution.

“We’re also appealing to anyone, including parents and carers, who know someone who carries a knife to encourage them to dispose of it.”

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/