Knives will not be tolerated on Lancashire’s streets – and now police are appealing directly to residents to hand in their weapons.
As part of a national operation to tackle knife crime, the constabulary is launching a knife surrender from Monday October 17, with members of the public being given the chance to anonymously dispose of weapons and to consider the potentially life-threatening consequences of carrying a knife.
There will be special bins at eight designated police stations county-wide, including Morecambe and anyone will be able to anonymously dispose of a weapon, whether it belongs to them, a friend or a relative.
Chief Inspector Mark Baines, force co-ordinator for the surrender, said: “A knife is a lethal weapon and even one on Lancashire’s streets is one too many.
“Whilst we do not have a massive problem with knife crime across the county and the number of crimes has reduced by a quarter since 2010, the consequences of carrying a knife in public are potentially devastating.
“In 2014 more than 800 knives were handed in during our surrender and 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 – simply don’t. Not only is being in possession of a knife in a public place a criminal offence, young people are also more likely to be stabbed and seriously injured with their own weapon.
“Please use the next couple of weeks to hand over your weapons without fear of prosecution, and don’t run the risk of ending up with a criminal record, a life-changing or even worse a potentially fatal injury.”
Knife bins will be available at the following designated police stations:
• Greenbank (Blackburn)
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 or cardboard before they are dropped in the bins or handed in.
Chief Inspector Baines said: “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.”
Young people are being encouraged to log onto the Trust Ed website – www.trusted2know.co.uk – to find out more about knife crime and the dangers of carrying a knife on Lancashire’s streets. They can also follow TrustEd2Know on Snapchat for updates throughout the knife surrender.
The surrender will begin at 8am on Monday October 17 and will run for at least two weeks.
The number of items handed in during this period will be reviewed and a decision will be made on a possible extension to the surrender period.