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Police warn of knife dangers following Operation Sceptre

PUBLISHED: 20:15 21 March 2019 | UPDATED: 20:15 21 March 2019

The Maldon knife amnesty bin was launched as part of an iniative with local charity Only Cowards Carry. Pictures: ESSEX POLICE

The Maldon knife amnesty bin was launched as part of an iniative with local charity Only Cowards Carry. Pictures: ESSEX POLICE

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A senior Essex Police officer has issued a stark warning to those carrying knives in the county after the force engaged in a nationwide campaign.

Essex Police and Only Cowards Carry knife amnesty bins have collected more than 4,000 blades this year alone. Pictures: ESSEX POLICEEssex Police and Only Cowards Carry knife amnesty bins have collected more than 4,000 blades this year alone. Pictures: ESSEX POLICE

Essex has been running weapon sweeps and high profile patrols as part of Operation Sceptre, a nationwide campaign to crack down on knife crime last week.

They have been working in partnership with local charity Only Cowards Carry, which was set up by resident Caroline Shearer in memory of her 17-year-old son Jay, who was fatally stabbed in 2012.

As part of their partnership, a new knife amnesty bin has been unveiled in Maldon.

The charity has been supplying bins across Essex since 2015, collecting more than 47,000 bladed objects.

The partners have also worked alongside representatives of Trading Standards to raise awareness among shop owners about the law regarding selling knives.

Assistant Chief Constable Paul Wells spoke of the dangers of carrying a knife following the campaign.

“We fight knife crime every day and our work during Operation Sceptre was part of our ongoing commitment to tackling violent crime,” he said.

“We know some people carry a knife because they think it will keep them safe. But the reality is they are more likely to either use that blade to hurt someone, or it will be used on them.

“Just being found carrying a knife or blade alone could result in a prison term of up to four years.

“I’d ask those people to think about the consequences of carrying a knife, and I’d ask anyone who knows someone who carries a knife to not be afraid to tell us or Crimestoppers.

“The more we can do together as a community to prevent knife crime happening in the first place, the less people there will be whose lives are changed forever by it.”

Shani Jackson, of Only Cowards Carry, said: “A kitchen knife is seen by most people as a standard kitchen utensil, others may see it as a potential weapon.

“By discarding knives in the correct manner, we can help decrease the use of knives as weapons.”

More information about knife crime can be found on the police website.

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