56 weapons including swords and knuckle dusters handed into police during amnesty
- Credit: CAMBS POLICE
More than 50 weapons including swords, knuckle dusters and batons were handed in to Cambridgeshire police as part of a week-long amnesty.
It comes as figures showed that possession of an article with a blade or point offences decreased by 17 per cent in Cambridgeshire in 2020/21 compared to figures for the previous financial year.
The amnesty allowed people to hand in knives and recently banned weapons to police without fear of prosecution. The 56 items handed in included 34 knives and 14 swords.
In July this year, the Offensive Weapons Act was updated, making items such as knuckledusters, telescopic truncheons, curved swords and zombie knives illegal to own even if kept on private property.
Previously, weapons such as these were only illegal when carried in public.
The amnesty formed part of the national ‘Operation Sceptre’ week of action.
A range of policing activities took place during the week, including a heightened police presence in ‘hotspot’ areas, targeting people who are believed to carry weapons, engagement with schools and working with retailers who sell knives, as well as completing test purchases.
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The week-long initiative, which was supported by officers, specials and police cadets, was 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 Matt Snow said: “I’d like to thank everyone who handed in weapons to us last week.
"By doing so you have helped to make our communities safer.
“We wanted to give people an opportunity to hand in weapons that have now been made illegal to own.
"I’m pleased people have taken that opportunity and that these items will now be disposed of safely.
“This week of action was all part of our ongoing efforts to tackle crime involving weapons in the county as we aim to make Cambridgeshire an even safer place.”
Visit Cambridgeshire Constabulary’s website for more information on the Offensive Weapons Act and to access a list of the banned items.