Knife amnesty sees hundreds of weapons surrendered across county
- Credit: Herts police
Hundreds of knives have been surrendered across Herts during the latest Operation Sceptre week of action against knife crime, which came to an end on Sunday, November 21.
The week of action sought to reduce the number of illegal knives in circulation.
Due to an increase in concerns about knife crime across the country, regular knife amnesties are being carried out to raise awareness and give advice about the risks of carrying a knife in public.
A total of 559 knives were surrendered across the county last week, including swords, hunting knives, cleavers and a variety of kitchen knives.
Hertsmere saw the most confiscated weapons, with a staggering 408 blades seized by police.
Hatfield followed with 47 illegally held knives taken, and a further 33 were confiscated in Stevenage.
Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire, David Lloyd, said: “Every blade that has been handed in means there is one less out on the streets with the potential to cause serious injury.
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"Knife crime does remain very low in Hertfordshire, but it understandably spreads significant concern through the community.
“Due to residents’ concerns, knife crime has been a priority for several years. The Chief Constable and I discuss it regularly, and my office has funded several substantial projects to reduce the number of young people carrying knives.”
Other activities carried out during the campaign included engagement events with young people in schools and public areas and visits to retailers to ensure they are adhering to laws regarding knife sales to those under 18.
Knife detection operations, including covert and high visibility patrols and knife sweeps were also conducted across the county.
Inspector Nicola Dean, from Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Crime Reduction Unit, who led the campaign, said: “There has been a great response from the public and we have managed to take many potential weapons off of our streets.
"We have also spent a lot of time talking to young people to find out their concerns and warn them about the dangers of carrying knives.
“The knife amnesties form an integral part of our serious violence strategy and by conducting them regularly, we hope that the message is getting out that carrying a knife is illegal and will not keep you safe.
"The amnesties support the other work we are doing throughout the year in schools, colleges and through our other projects, working with young people.
"As part of this strategy we are working with our partners in education, local government and social services to educate young people about the potential consequences of carrying a knife.”
The full list of surrenders made by Herts police is as follows:
- Hertsmere: 408
- Hatfield: 47
- Three Rivers 46
- Stevenage: 33
- East Herts: 15
- Broxbourne: 5
- Watford: 5
For further information on support services relating to knife crime, visit fearless.org.
Alternatively, you can stay anonymous by contacting Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or at crimestoppers-uk.org.