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Lancashire Police support nationwide knife amnesty week

Ch Insp Mark Baines.
Ch Insp Mark Baines.

Carrying knives on Lancashire’s streets is unacceptable – and police are encouraging residents to hand in the weapons as part of a national knife surrender campaign.

From Tuesday September 18 Lancashire Police are urging members of the public to dispose of knives anonymously at stations across the county.

The week-long surrender is part of Operation Sceptre, a move to remove dangerous weapons from the street, reduce knife crime and raise awareness of the dangers and consequences of carrying a knife.

Chief Insp Mark Baines, Lancashire Police’s co-ordinator for the knife surrender, said: “While knife crime is not a major problem in the county, a knife is a lethal weapon – even one on Lancashire’s streets is one too many.

“During our last campaign in February, 106 knives were surrendered to police. Among the weapons given up were combat knives, kitchen knives and large blades.

“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. Having a knife in a public place is a criminal offence, with young people more likely to be stabbed and seriously injured with their own weapon.”

Knife bins are available at designated police stations in Burnley, Blackburn, Preston, Morecambe and Nelson. Anyone can anonymously dispose of a weapon, whether it belongs to them, a friend or a relative. 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, cardboard or tape before they are dropped in the bins or handed in.

Chief Insp Baines added: “Lancashire Constabulary has a zero tolerance policy toward possession of knives in public.

“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. You can be arrested, go to court and receive a police record or even a prison sentence of up to four years and an unlimited fine.”

The surrender is from September 18 to 24.