Chance to hand in knives in Stevenage without fear of prosecution

PUBLISHED: 11:13 09 February 2018 | UPDATED: 11:13 09 February 2018

A knife haul collected in an amnesty held by Cambridgeshire police

A knife haul collected in an amnesty held by Cambridgeshire police

Archant

People in North Herts with unwanted knives and weapons can hand them in to Stevenage Police Station as part of the latest knife amnesty being launched by Herts police.

Hertfordshire PCC David LloydHertfordshire PCC David Lloyd

The amnesty is part of a national knife crime campaign called Operation Sceptre, which aims to rid the UK’s streets of knives.

The amnesty will run between Monday, February 12, and Sunday, February 18, during which people can surrender any unwanted knives to the police anonymously and without fear of prosecution for possession of the items.

It comes as the UK and Herts is experiencing an increase in knife-related crime which refers to any incident where the presence of a knife has been mentioned or implied, even if a knife is not actually seen or no evidence of a weapons is found.

There are 399 recorded knife offences for Hertfordshire for the year ending January 31.

This compares to 372 recorded over the same period the previous year – an increase of almost 10 per cent. In many cases the victims and offenders are aged between 13 and 18, with nearly two-thirds of offenders coming from outside of the county.

The amnesty also provides an opportunity to educate young people about the dangers of carrying a knife, give crime prevention advice and raise awareness amongst local businesses that selling certain knives to anyone under 18 is illegal.

The locations and opening times of police stations in Herts, including Stevenage, can be found at www.herts.police.uk/policestations.

Hertfordshire’s police and crime commissioner David Lloyd said: “Crime is low in Hertfordshire in comparison to other counties, but unfortunately some types of knife related crime have increased in many parts of the country. Forces around the country are now taking part in Operation Sceptre on a regular basis in response to these increases. We have seen a good response to this initiative in the past and it has been very effective in reducing the number of knives being carried. Any knives that we can remove from our streets will help to make everyone safer.”

Assistant Chief Constable Bill Jephson added: “Over the past year we have seen an increase in incidents in which a knife has been reported, and many of those recorded will be where a knife has been mentioned rather than used. In most cases these incidents have involved young people, and the amnesty gives us an opportunity to raise awareness, especially among young people, that carrying a knife is not glamorous or tough.

“It is illegal and actually makes you more likely to be injured, become involved in a violent incident or be arrested, even if you believe you are acting in self-defence. I would urge any young person who has a knife or is considering carrying one to consider the consequences, you could easily end up in hospital or court.”

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