900 knives handed in for amnesty

PUBLISHED: 17:03 01 June 2006 | UPDATED: 10:56 22 October 2010

Nearly 900 blades including swords and bayonets have been handed to police across the region as part of a national knife amnesty.

Nearly 900 blades including swords and bayonets have been handed to police across the region as part of a national knife amnesty.

The weapons were collected at stations in Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire in the first few days of a five-week campaign to raise awareness over stabbings.

Officers reported a huge range of blades being handed over, ranging in seriousness from broken scissors to flick knives, arrows and syringes.

Norfolk collected the largest number, with 505 knives dropped into special bins at police stations across the county.

Insp Bob Crombie, force representative for the amnesty, said: “We are very happy with the results of the amnesty and the number of knives that have been collected. What we are trying to do is say Norfolk is a relatively safe county but we want to keep it that way. The amnesty is a message to send out to raise public awareness of knife crime. The knives won't be made subject to forensic examination and the bins are not covered by CCTV so people can drop them off without being recorded.”

Suffolk police reported just over 175 blades being handed to officers, with Cambridgeshire on 212. Of these, the majority were described as “domestic knives”, with more serious banned weapons numbering just over 30.

The figures came out as home secretary John Reid was reported to be looking into the possibility of increasing the jail term for carrying a hidden knife from two to five years.

It follows the fatal stabbings of student Thomas Grant on a train in Cumbria and Marlvin Jiro, who was stabbed to death during a fight after a night out with friends in Birmingham.

The killings of schoolboy Kiyan Prince in Edgware, north-west London, and special constable Nisha Patel-Nasri in Wembley, both of whom were stabbed to death earlier this month, had already led to calls for tougher penalties for those caught carrying knives.

Insp Crombie said: “I haven't got the full break-down of what has been dropped-in, but we have got an American bayonet, there is a blade which is like Ghurka knife, and somebody put in an extendable baton.

“There is also an Arabian style knife with a leather handle which could do so damage.”

In Norfolk, 141 blades were surrendered in the Eastern policing area, 158 in the Central area, 180 in the Western Area and 26 at the force headquarters at Wymondham. Officers in King's Lynn collected two ornamental swords.

Police in Cambridgeshire said they had collected 121 domestic knives, 57 non-domestic knives and 34 “weapons”, such as flick knives. The knife amnesty began on May 24 and will run until June 30.

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