Knives get the chop

PUBLISHED: 12:14 20 July 2006 | UPDATED: 10:31 06 May 2010

Pc Mike Ellis checks the knives on their way to the shredder

Pc Mike Ellis checks the knives on their way to the shredder

OVER 24,000 knives and other weapons handed in to police stations throughout central London and in the Thames Valley region during a month-long amnesty were turned into scrap in Hitchin on Friday in less than a minute. The massive collection of assorted w

OVER 24,000 knives and other weapons handed in to police stations throughout central London and in the Thames Valley region during a month-long amnesty were turned into scrap in Hitchin on Friday in less than a minute.

The massive collection of assorted weapons was crushed at the scrap metal yard of H Williams & Sons which is one of the largest recycling plants in Europe.

Watched by Met Police acting deputy assistant commissioner (ADAC) Alf Hitchcock, the weapons-to-waste process took only 24 seconds from the knives being tipped into the 400-ton wrecking drum and being spewed out the other end as seven tons of scrap.

H Williams now have most of the Ministry of Defence contracts to dispose of their metal waste which has included helicopters and fighter aircraft as well as missile casings. The site has even disposed of a Boeing 747 Jumbo jet.

The Hitchin site was used by the two police forces because of its tight security and because of its links with the MoD.

"In less than a minute it was all over. By the afternoon the seven tons of metal was on a train heading for South Wales to be turned into sheets of metal for buildings or other industrial uses," said H Williams managing director George Bond.

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