An amnesty on knives is launched across Lancashire on Monday, with the message that knives will not be tolerated on the county’s streets.
Police are appealing directly to residents to hand in their weapons in a five-week knife amnesty up to Monday, September 29th.
Special bins will be placed at 10 designated police stations, where anyone will be able to dispose of a weapon anonymously, whether it belongs to them, a friend or relative.
Assistant Chief Constable Mark Bates said: “We do not have a massive problem with knife crime in Lancashire, but a knife is a lethal weapon and even one on Lancashire’s streets is one too many.
“If anyone is in possession of a knife and is unsure what to do about it, I would urge them to take this opportunity to dispose of it anonymously and safely.
“In particular, I want to appeal to youngsters who may be tempted to carry a knife because they believe it offers them protection – don’t. Not only is being in possession of a knife in a public place a criminal offence, but nationally seven out of 10 knife injuries among young people are caused as a result of the victim being stabbed with their own weapon.”
Between April 1st, 2010 and March 31st, 2014 there were 3,712 offences involving knives across Lancashire, including 612 offences of possessing an article with a blade or point, 459 knife-related public order offences and 321 woundings.
The maximum penalty for an adult found in possession of a knife is four years in prison and a fine of £5,000.
Young people are being encouraged to log onto the Trust Ed website – www.trusted2know.co.uk – to find out more about knife crime and the dangers of carrying a knife.
Mr Bates added: “Lancashire Constabulary has a zero tolerance policy toward possession of knives in public, and that will continue during the amnesty.
“If anyone is found in possession of a knife during this period – and is clearly not en-route to a police station to hand it over – they will be dealt with appropriately.”