Knife crime is tackled across Cambridgeshire with an amnesty
- Credit: Archant
A knife amnesty is taking place across Cambridgeshire in a bid to take weapons off the streets.
In the Ely area knife possession doubled from nine to 18 offences in the last two years while in the Fens it has increased from 33 to 50 cases.
The amnesty is part of a nationwide police effort, called Operation Sceptre, allowing members of the public to hand in knives without prosecution.
Inspector Matt Snow said: “This amnesty provides us with an excellent opportunity to join with colleagues across the country to get knives off the streets.
“Knives ruin lives and it’s important we are doing all we can to tackle the issue. Please make use of the amnesty bins next week – you could save a life.
“I’d urge the family and friends of people who carry knives to encourage them to make use of the amnesty. Even if you feel the person would never actually use the weapon, by disposing of it you completely eliminate that risk and you could be preventing them from being prosecuted.
“If people don’t make use of the amnesty and they are found to be carrying a knife in a public place they could face a hefty fine and further prosecution by the courts.”
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Jason Ablewhite, Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “People carrying knives often do so without understanding the real consequences of using them - the devastation caused to victims who are seriously injured or fatally wounded and the impact on their families and friends.
“I ask everyone to support this campaign.”
Amnesty bins are at Wisbech Police Station, Thorpe Wood Police Station in Peterborough and Parkside Police Station in Cambridge.
In addition, officers are visiting schools to talk about knife crime and test purchases will be carried out at retail outlets.
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 or less, eg a Swiss Army knife.
It is illegal to 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.
• Anyone who knows someone who carries a knife can also report it anonymously by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.