21st Nov, 2017

Surrender that knife! Redditch police join national blade campaign

Ross Crawford 13th Sep, 2017

POLICE in the Redditch and Alcester areas are supporting the national knife surrender campaign Operation Sceptre.

The campaign will run for four weeks starting on Monday, September 18.

The aims of the operation are to remove dangerous weapons from the street and raise awareness of the dangers and consequences of carrying a knife.

Officers admit that the West Mercia and Warwickshire policing areas do not have a major knife crime problem but have seen the devastating impact knife crime can have on victims and their families and the wider community.

To encourage the handing in of knives or blades surrender bins will be located at Redditch and Stratford police stations where anyone can anonymously surrender them.

However police have emphasised that this is a surrender campaign as opposed to an amnesty, and there will be no immunity from prosecution should information come to light that one of the surrendered weapons may have been used in a crime.

The knives surrendered will be delivered to the British Ironwork Centre in Oswestry where they will be used to build a plinth for a 20-foot high guardian angel sculpture in memory of those who have lost their life to knife crime.

People surrendering knives at the stations will not have to leave their names or any details. However, if police suspect a weapon has been used in a crime they will examine it for evidence.

Chief Inspector Sharon Cannings said: “While the region doesn’t have a big knife problem we’re keen to play our part in this national campaign to tackle knife crime and the damage it causes to communities.

“Knife crime doesn’t just affect the victims it affects the families of victims and offenders and has a devastating impact on the wider community.

“We want people who carry knives to stop and think about the potential consequences for others and themselves.

“For the next four weeks people will have the opportunity to surrender those knives anonymously. The decision to do so might be the most important decision they ever make.”

There were 215 recorded knife crimes in Warwickshire in 2016/17, a rise of 28 per cent from the 168 offences in 2015/16.

There were 467 recorded knife crimes in the West Mercia policing area in 2016/17, a rise of five per cent from the 443 offences in 2015/16.

There were 76 recorded knife crimes in South Warwickshire in 2016/17. This represents an increase of 46 per cent from 52 recorded in 2015/16.

During 2016/17, North Worcestershire was the only policing area acrosds the two forces to experience a decrease in knife crime.

There were 108 recorded knife crimes* in 2016/17, down 19 per cent from the 129 in 2015/16.

In all 28 per cent offences occurred in Kidderminster and 37 per cent in Redditch.

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