Possession of knife offences in Cambridgeshire have decreased by five per cent in the last year.

With the aim of improving this number further, police are holding a weapons amnesty in Peterborough and Cambridge next week.

The amnesty will allow people to hand in knives and other items without being prosecuted.

As well as knives, the amnesty will cover items such as knuckledusters, extendable batons, curved swords and zombie knives that have been made illegal to own.

The week-long amnesty starts on Monday (November 13) with bins at Thorpe Wood Police Station in Peterborough and Parkside Police Station in Cambridge.

There will also be amnesty bins at Gladstone Park Community Centre, Bourges Boulevard, Peterborough on Tuesday November 13 from 10am until 12pm and the Community Hub in Pathfinder Way, Northstowe, South Cambridgeshire on Sunday, 19 November, from 12pm – 2pm.

Cambs Times: Weapons handed in during May's amnestyWeapons handed in during May's amnesty (Image: Cambridgeshire Constabulary)

The weapons amnesty forms part of the national ‘Operation Sceptre’ week of action. It will also include extra police patrols in ‘hotspot’ areas, targeting those believed to be carrying knives, work in schools and with retailers selling knives.

The week-long initiative, which will be supported by officers, specials and police cadets, is part of ‘Operation Guardian’ – the constabulary’s ongoing strategy to combat knife crime in the county.

Where knives are concerned, it is illegal to:

  • sell a knife of any kind to anyone under 18 years old.
  • carry a knife in public without good reason - unless it’s a knife with a folding blade 3 inches long (7.62 cm) or less, eg a Swiss Army knife
  • 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.

Inspector Karl Secker said: “Nearly 300 weapons were handed in during our last amnesty in May. We were really pleased with the results, but it also shows there is a continued need to provide people with an opportunity to surrender items.

“These regular amnesties form part of our ongoing strategy to tackle knife crime. They offer people the chance to dispose of weapons responsibly and without being prosecuted.

“It’s important we use multiple tactics to combat knife crime, which is why we’re also engaging with young people, targeting habitual knife carriers and conducting extra patrols in key areas.

“We need the community to help us address the issue. If you know someone who carries a weapon, please encourage them to make use of the amnesty next week.

“By disposing of it, they will be safer, as well as removing the risk of being prosecuted.”

Visit Cambridgeshire Constabulary’s website for more information on knife crime and to access a list of the banned items.