August 1 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, May 29, 2014
A knife amnesty has been launched by police in Clacton in a bid to reduce the number of weapons on the town’s streets.
Chief Inspector Cat Barrie, district commander for Tendring, has decided to provide a secure container at Clacton Police Station where the public can dispose of any blades they do not want.
There will also be a zero-tolerance approach to carrying a knife and an increase in stop and searches as part of the blitz on blades.
The EADT reported earlier this month of a rise in knife crime in the district from 153 to 188 offences in the past year, recorded from March to February - an increase of almost 23%.
Ch Insp Barrie said: “Clacton is not the only area to have experienced an increase in knife crime but we plan to trial the amnesty here to see whether it will then be worthwhile expanding it to other areas of Essex, although I will consider it a success if it takes only a few knives off the streets, which might otherwise have ended up being used in crime.
“I am hoping this amnesty will persuade people thinking about carrying a weapon to think twice about it and to then dispose of it with us in a safe manner.
“It will also provide a way for law abiding members of the public to get rid of knives they no longer need in a way that guarantees they will never end up in the wrong hands.
“As part of the amnesty we will also be taking a zero-tolerance approach to anyone found to be illegally in possession of a knife on the streets.
“We will be developing intelligence on any locations where knife crime is likely to occur and carrying out stop and search operations in those areas.
“We are also engaging with schools, volunteer groups and charities to tell young people about the dangers of knives and the risks involved in carrying one.”
The amnesty has been backed by Police and Crime Commissioner Nick Alston, as well as anti-knife crime campaigners Caroline Shearer, the founder of the Only Cowards Carry campaign, and Ann Oakes-Odger, founder and chief executive of KnifeCrimes.org.
Anyone wanting to surrender a knife should ensure it is fully wrapped up and placed in a secure container before bringing it to the station, and can contact the station for advice on 101.