Second amnesty in five months follows 25 per cent rise in knife crime across Cambridgeshire

PUBLISHED: 12:19 09 February 2018 | UPDATED: 14:09 09 February 2018

In June this year 27-year-old James Cromwell died of a single stab wound to the heart in Stretton Avenue, Cambridge. He is pictured with his son Leon

In June this year 27-year-old James Cromwell died of a single stab wound to the heart in Stretton Avenue, Cambridge. He is pictured with his son Leon

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Rising knife crime – up 25 per cent last year – has prompted Cambridgeshire police to stage a second amnesty within five months.

Andrew Hasler, 28, died in January 2016 after he was stabbed 17 times at his home in St Ives.Andrew Hasler, 28, died in January 2016 after he was stabbed 17 times at his home in St Ives.

From Monday bins will be located at police stations including those at Ely, March, Wisbech for knives to handed in on a ‘no questions asked’ basis.

The last amnesty in October resulted in 90 bladed items being recovered.

Chief Inspector Marcia Pringle said: “People carrying knives, particularly young people, do so without understanding the real consequences of using them.”

She said they often failed to appreciate “the devastation it can cause to those who are seriously injured or fatally wounded, nor the impact on the families who have lost loved ones”.

Between September 1 last year and January 30 there has been 87 recorded crimes where a knife or sharp instrument has been used.

There has also been a 16 per cent increase in the number of crimes of possession of a knife from 167 in 2016 to 194 in 2017.

Nearly 100 bladed items, including swords and machetes, were handed into police during their county wide knife amnesty in October 2017.Nearly 100 bladed items, including swords and machetes, were handed into police during their county wide knife amnesty in October 2017.

The amnesty begins on Monday (February 12) for a week.

Case studies of two Cambridgeshire deaths caused by knife attacks have been shared by police.

Last June James Cromwell, 27, died of a single stab wound to the heart in Cambridge.

His killer, Abdul Korim Ali, 25, used the knife he was carrying after they had an argument. Ali is now serving a life prison sentence.

James’ mother Linda said: “If Ali hadn’t been carrying a knife then the chance is there would have been a scuffle of some sort but no one would have died and James would be here today.

“Ali’s family might not be able to get their heads around what happened but at least he’s alive and they can visit him. All we get to see is a cemetery.

“Knife crime takes more than one life, it takes us all. If you chose to carry a knife there will be no winners, just losers.”

Helen Frazier’s son Andrew Hasler, 28, died on January 8, 2016 after he was stabbed 17 times at his home in St Ives.

She said: “No parent should ever have to bury their child.

“You can carry a knife and be lucky and never to use it but how do you know you won’t? You don’t.”

Chief Insp Pringle said: “Helen and Linda’s stories illustrate the heartbreak and overwhelming grief they experience every day and will do so for the rest of their lives.

“This knife amnesty is an opportunity to protect our loved ones from serious harm or a life changing conviction.”

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