Police have released a powerful image of knife victims from Peterborough and Cambridgeshire to promote and ongoing knife amnesty.
The amnesty began on Monday (September 16) and lasts a week, with knife surrender bins located at Thorpe Wood Police Station in Peterborough and Parkside Police Station in Cambridge.
In addition, officers are visiting schools to talk about knife crime and test purchases will be carried out at retail outlets. Test purchasing is where someone under the age of 18 attempts to buy a knife to see if they are asked for identification.
Offences involving possession of a knife in Cambridgeshire rose by nearly 10 per cent in 2018/19 compared to figures from the previous year. Despite this, the figure remains below the national average and police said it is in line with a rise in offences across the country.
To promote the amnesty, police released an image of people who have died from knife attacks in the county.
A post on Twitter read: “These men all lost their lives because their attacker chose to pick up a knife.
“Chris, James, Peter, Sam and Filip had lives, loved ones and futures.
“During this week’s knife amnesty, you can hand in knives without fear of prosecution.”
It is illegal to:
- sell a knife of any kind to anyone under 18 years old.
- carry a knife in public without good reason - unless it’s a knife with a folding blade three inches long (7.62 cm) or less, e.g. a Swiss Army knife
- carry, buy or sell any type of banned knife
- use any knife in a threatening way (even a legal knife, such as a Swiss Army knife)
The maximum penalty for an adult carrying a knife is four years in prison and a fine of £5,000.
Inspector Matt Snow said: “This amnesty provides us with an excellent opportunity to join with colleagues across the country to get knives off the streets.
“Knives ruin lives and it’s important we are doing all we can to tackle the issue. Please make use of the knife surrender bins next week – you could save a life.
“This is the second knife amnesty since serious street based violence (SSBV) became a force priority.
“SSBV was introduced to address concerns over people carrying weapons in Cambridgeshire and we are focusing on both education and enforcement.
“The action our officers take next week will follow the same method. It’s important that we’re talking to young people about the dangers of carrying knives and the potentially devastating consequences.
“I’d urge the family and friends of people who carry knives to encourage them to make use of the amnesty. Even if you feel the person would never actually use the weapon, by disposing of it you completely eliminate that risk and you could be preventing them from being prosecuted.
“If people don’t make use of the amnesty and they are found to be carrying a knife in public, they could face a hefty fine and further prosecution by the courts.”
Anyone who knows someone who carries a knife can report it anonymously by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or visiting https://crimestoppers-uk.org/.