PEOPLE in Lancashire are being urged to hand in knives as part of a national week of action.
Following continuing incidents across the country, including a number of recent fatal stabbings, knife crime remains firmly in the national spotlight.
Lancashire Constabulary is committed to protecting the community from the potentially devastating consequences of knife crime through prevention, education and enforcement.
Prevention is about removing knives from circulation, reiterating the consequences and the seriousness of carrying a knife.
Education is about breaking the chain, targeting those most vulnerable to carrying knives, namely young people in their teens.
Enforcement is about using proactive police powers and community intelligence to target areas where people are thought to routinely carry knives – using stop and search powers, knife arches and detector wands to prevent and deter people from carrying knives.
As part of this week’s Op Sceptre national week of action increased activity is planned including:
- Knife crime test purchasing
- Crime prevention inputs to local schools
- Knife surrender
The knife bins will be located outside police stations in Blackburn (Greenbank), Burnley, Colne, Fleetwood, Morecambe, Blackpool DHQ, Preston, Chorley, Ormskirk. There are also two permanent bins located outside community centres in the Tanhouse and Digmoor areas of Skelmersdale
Chief Inspector Steve Anderton said: “Lancashire Constabulary is being really pro-active about how it tackles knife crime. We are continuing to raise awareness of the dangers of carrying a knife among children and young people, regularly visiting schools to talk to students about the dangers of carrying a knife.
“We have a zero-tolerance policy towards knife possession, and anyone who is found to be in possession of a knife could face up to five years in prison
“Selling a knife to or buying a knife for anyone under the age of 18 is a criminal offence. You will be arrested and dealt with appropriately.
“Nationally, young people who end up in hospital with a knife injury have usually been stabbed with their own knife – carrying a knife puts you at risk. You don’t have to use the knife to get a criminal record – just being in possession of a blade in public is illegal.
“Handing in and getting rid of a knife is really easy – using the bins is anonymous, you are immune from prosecution at the point of surrender and you are actually making yourself safer by ditching your blade.
“The knife surrender is completely anonymous – there will be no questions asked and there is no obligation to give your details when you surrender a weapon.
“Anyone can hand in a knife during the surrender, whether it is their own knife or they wish to hand it in on behalf of a friend or family member.
“We regularly take part in weeks of action including national knife surrenders but this is not just a police issue and we continue to work closely with partners to educate people on the dangers of carrying a knife as it could have tragic consequences.”
We would encourage anyone with information about knife crime in Lancashire to contact police or independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
More information is available here https://www.lancashire.police.uk/help-advice/safer-communities/knife-crime/