Amnesty sees police urge people to ‘surrender your knife and save a life'

Police officer with zombie knife

Zombie knives are among the banned weapons it is now illegal to possess even in private. - Credit: PA

Thousands of deadly blades could be taken off the streets as part of an amnesty aimed at reducing knife crime. 

As part of a week-long crackdown the public is being urged to hand over knives and other bladed weapons without fear of prosecution.

Knives can be surrendered at any police station as part of Operation Sceptre, but people are encouraged to take them to their nearest public enquiry office, which are in Norwich, Great Yarmouth, King’s Lynn and Wymondham.

Inspector Ian Cox said: “There may be people who have knives and don't know how to dispose of them.

Inspector Ian Cox of Norfolk Police.

Inspector Ian Cox of Norfolk Police. - Credit: Simon Parkin

"It’s important that these are handed into the police to stop them getting into the wrong hands and to reduce the amount of knives being carried on the streets. 

“Every knife surrendered is one less chance of a life being ended or ruined by knife crime.”

Hundreds of knives have been emptied from Knife Amnesty bins during Operation Sceptre Picture: RACHE

Hundreds of knives surrendered during a previous Operation Sceptre amnesty. - Credit: Archant

Machetes, flick knives, kitchen knives and pen knives are among the bladed items that can be surrendered, but the latest amnesty follows changes to the law which make it illegal to own certain weapons.

It was already illegal to possess a knife or offensive weapon in public, but the Offensive Weapons Act was updated in July making it illegal to possess certain dangerous weapons - even in your own home.

Zombie knives

An updating of the Offensive Weapons Act banned weapons including knuckledusters, curved swords, zombie knives and death star knives. - Credit: PA

Some weapons covered in the ban include knuckledusters, telescopic truncheons, curved swords, so-called zombie knives and death star knives.

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Police are encouraging people to hand in items on the banned list, which they may have acquired prior to the law change, without fear of prosecution. 

National Police Chiefs' Council lead on knife crime, deputy assistant commissioner Graham McNulty, said: “The harm caused to families and communities through the tragic loss of life relating to knife crime is devastating and that is why focusing on this issue remains a top priority for policing.

As part of Operation Sceptre, Norfolk Police swept the streets of Norwich in search of knives. Pictu

As part of Operation Sceptre, Norfolk Police will be sweeping the streets in search of discarded knives. - Credit: Archant

"These measures will help officers to take dangerous weapons off the streets, deal with those intent on using them to cause harm and suffering and, crucially, make it more difficult for young people to get hold of knives and other dangerous items in the first place.”

If you suspect someone is carrying a knife call Norfolk Police on 101 or you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

Are you unwittingly breaking the law on knives?

Insp Ian Cox said: “Norfolk is a rural county and there are people who carry knives for use in their employment but there are plenty of people who carry them because it is seen as the thing to do. It absolutely isn’t.

“There are really strict laws in place on what is and isn’t allowed within that.”

Youth with knife

The maximum penalty for carrying a knife is four years in prison and a fine of £5,000. - Credit: PA

Where knives are concerned, it is illegal to:

  • Carry a knife in public without good reason - unless it’s a knife with a folding blade 7.62cm long or less, for example a Swiss Army knife.
  • Sell a knife of any kind to anyone aged under 18.
  • 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.