Nearly 3000 Knives In Amnesty

Heart's being told almost three thousand knives - including a samurai sword and machetes have been handed into police in a year long amnesty

Suffolk police say the latest emptying of the knife amnesty bins has revealed some surprises in Bury St Edmunds and Lowestoft. Nearly three thousand knives have been collected during the yearlong amnesty, with permanent knife bins standing outside Ipswich, Mildenhall, Lowestoft and Bury St Edmunds Police Stations. Two mobile bins are visiting smaller stations, and are currently in place at Felixstowe and Stowmarket.

In April 701 knives were dropped anonymously in the six bins, taking the total since the campaign started last December to 2944 bladed or sharp articles.

Mildenhall’s permanent bin was started in April and saw 94 items collected. The mobile bins have so far collected 400 knives, and in Ipswich more than one thousand knives have been left since December.

Lowestoft’s total for April was 1041 and police have told Heart that some particularly interesting items were left in the bin.

Lowestoft Safer Neighbourhood Team Inspector Sarsfield Donohue said, 'On emptying the bin, alongside the more standard knives were a samurai sword, two cutlasses (one of which I'm sure should be in a museum as it looks like the genuine article as opposed to a cheap copy), three machetes, a few lock knives and a couple of daggers - not what you'd normally find in your kitchen.

'Some of these items may well have been sitting in a drawer or hanging on the wall after a holiday decades ago, so I am pleased that members of the public have done the right thing and put these blades in the Lowestoft bin. But I am equally pleased that all the other types of knives are also being handed in, as it only takes one to be carried for a tragedy to happen.'

In Bury St Edmunds, 246 blades were put in the bin in April, with almost 80% of them lock knives. Bury Safer Neighbourhood Team Inspector Jane Hertzog explained. 'When the bin was opened up we were surprised to see a big pile of promotional, packaged lock knives. They had been made specifically for a company with their logo on, and were in small plastic pockets labeled 'The All Purpose Safety Lock Knife.' One-hundred-and-ninety-six of these were in the bin.

'There is no such thing as a safe lock knife. – think they are illegal to possess in a public place and if you are caught carrying one you will be firmly dealt with. I am pleased that someone at this company, or someone who was given the knives as promotional items, has realised how dangerous they could be and has binned them. If any other companies have such knives we would be glad to receive them in the amnesty.'

All the collected knives will be taken to Sackers Recycling in Great Blakenham where they will be stored securely. At the end of the amnesty Sackers will tip them all into their metal shredder to be safely disposed of.

A number of other initiatives are planned to run alongside the countywide amnesty, including a community TV commercial raising awareness of the possible outcomes of carrying a knife.

'Bin a Blade' is supported by teenage anti-knife crime campaigner Holly Watson from Sudbury.

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