Greater Manchester Knife Surrender

30 January 2015, 10:49 | Updated: 30 January 2015, 11:02

Greater Manchester Police are supporting a national campaign led by the British Ironwork Centre. Its 'Save a Life, Surrender Your Knife' initiative, began in August last year with a knife bank in Birmingham.

The Centre has since toured UK cities encouraging young people who are carrying knives to give them up. Surrendered knives will be used to create a spectacular 15-24 feet tall Angel statue in memory of those whose lives have been tragically lost to knife crime.

To support the campaign, Greater Manchester Police will have 11 knife bins across the region.

It's been nine years since the last knife surrender in Greater Manchester.

The surrender will be held for one month from Sunday 1 February at 8am to 11.59pm on Sunday 28 February 2015.

During that period, those surrendering knives won't face prosecution for carrying them and they can remain anonymous. However, the force will maintain its zero-tolerance approach which will continue during the surrender - leniency will not be shown to anyone stopped by the police and found to be in possession of a knife they will be arrested as normal and an advice file submitted to the Crown Prosecution Service who will decide whether charges are to be brought based on certain criteria.

Detective Chief Inspector Debbie Dooley of Xcalibre Task Force and the Integrated Gang Management Unit said:

"Although knife crime counts for quite a small fraction of crime in Greater Manchester, like any crime involving weapons it has a devastating effect on people's lives and one incident of knife crime is one too many. Knife crime not only impacts on the victims, but their families, friends, neighbours and the local community.

"In the wrong hands, a knife is a deadly weapon. The knife bank will enable members of the public to surrender knives safely and anonymously and in turn remove these weapons from our streets."

Assistant Chief Constable Ian Wiggett said:

"People have a month to anonymously hand in their knives or bladed weapons in an surrender bin. I urge people to take this opportunity to bin the blade and watch as something so dangerous is transformed into the beautiful memorial to remember victims."

"We are committed to protecting our communities from violent crime and we hope to have their support throughout February as we work hard to get these weapons off our streets."