Knife amnesty aims to tackle knife crime in St Albans

PUBLISHED: 16:05 08 March 2019 | UPDATED: 16:05 08 March 2019

Knives collected at Stevenage police station during a previous knife amnesty. Picture: Herts Police

Knives collected at Stevenage police station during a previous knife amnesty. Picture: Herts Police

Archant

A knife bin will be in the council offices from Monday in an effort to prevent knife crime in St Albans.

St Albans is taking part of Operation Sceptre, a week-long national knife amnesty allowing members of the public to dispose of unwanted knives anonymously between Monday, March 11 and Sunday, March 17.

The bin will be in the reception area of the Civic Centre council offices, and residents can surrender knives to Herts police without fear of prosecution.

Neighbourhood Insp Andy Wiseman said: “We’d especially like to see young people disarming themselves for their own safety.

“Although we have had some recent violence in St Albans and London Colney involving young people and knives, St Albans remains a very safe place to live and work and it is still only a small number of people committing knife crime.”

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

Insp Andrew Palfreyman, who is leading the operational activity for Operation Sceptre, said: “As part of our wider plan to reduce violent crime we continue to support Operation Sceptre and I encourage people to take advantage of the knife amnesty.

“During the week of action we will also be conducting other operations to reduce knife-related crime, as well as using a poster campaign and social media to help raise awareness, especially among young people, that carrying a knife will not make you safer and is not acceptable in our county.”

As part of the wider campaign officers will carry out knife detection operations, test purchasing at retailers who sell knives and visit schools to deliver talks on the dangers and consequences of carrying a knife.

Police and crime commissioner David Lloyd said: “We are developing new initiatives to help young people understand that carrying a knife is not acceptable, is illegal and you are more likely to be injured or arrested if you choose to carry one.

“The amnesties are now a regular part of our violent crime reduction plan and any knives that can be taken off of our streets will help to make everyone safer.”

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