By MARK BOGGIS
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
PEOPLE in Suffolk are being urged to continue to “bin their blades” as the county’s knife amnesty was relaunched this week.
Following the success of the initial year-long amnesty, which saw 6,125 knives handed in anonymously in four permanent and two mobile bins across the county in 2011, the scheme has been relaunched.
And with the four bins remaining outside Ipswich, Lowestoft, Bury St Edmunds and Mildenhall police stations, Suffolk’s Community Safety Partnerships - who own the bins - have kindly allowed them to remain in place and be repainted.
On Monday, chief constable Simon Ash, teenage anti-knife campaigner Holly Watson and BBC Suffolk presenter Mark Murphy officially relaunched the bins, which are now all bright yellow.
Holly Watson said: “I’m really pleased with how the bins look, anyone going to one of the four police stations can’t miss them and I hope they will make people think more about binning their blades and not carrying a knife in the first place.”
Mr Ash said: “It is over two years ago that the idea of a permanent amnesty was suggested by Mark Murphy, in response to Holly’s campaigning, and I am delighted that it is still going strong. The number of knives handed in during 2011 was considerable, and I am pleased that people are still binning their blades in 2012.
“Whilst there continues to be no significant problem with knife crime in Suffolk, we still want to raise awareness of the consequences of carrying a knife. We are now focusing on delivering this message to young people through a theatre production in the new year.”
So far this year (2012), 1,640 knives have been deposited in the bins - with nearly 450 knives handed in at Lowestoft. A number of the knives collected in 2011 have been kept and will be turned into an award which is being developed.
The current knife totals recorded per bin already this year are Mildenhall - 96; Bury St Edmunds - 262; Ipswich - 833 and Lowestoft - 449.
Bin a Blade currently features in an exhibition at the V&A Museum of Childhood.