Teenager Holly helps launch knife amnesty
A TEENAGER whose brother was stabbed to death has urged people to support a year-long knife amnesty campaign.
As part of Suffolk police’s ‘Bin a Blade’ campaign three knife bins will be situated outside Ipswich, Bury St Edmunds and Lowestoft police stations for the next 12 months.
Anyone who has a knife or blade they wish to get rid of safely is encouraged to drop it anonymously in one of the secure bins.
The campaign was launched in Ipswich yesterday by Suffolk’s Chief Constable Simon Ash and teenage knife crime campaigner Holly Watson from Sudbury.
Miss Watson said: “My brother Lewis was stabbed in September 2009 and died from his injuries.
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“I went from being a normal teenager to someone whose life was ripped apart by someone carrying a knife.
“I want to make carrying a knife socially unacceptable, and show people what the real consequences of carrying a knife can be – a criminal record, a prison sentence, or a serious or fatal injury to yourself or someone else.
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“If you go out with a knife, or are thinking of doing so, I would urge you not to.
“Carrying a knife does not protect you; it just makes you more vulnerable.
“If you have a knife, please take it to one of the main police stations and bin a blade. You will not get into trouble for taking a knife there, and you will be taking a potentially dangerous weapon out of harm’s way.” Mr Ash said that Miss Watson’s story had inspired him to get the bins installed and put her message across.
The campaign is also being supported by BBC Radio Suffolk.
Mr Ash said: “I have been really impressed with Holly’s work to prevent young people from carrying knives, and I wanted to find a way in which the Constabulary could support her campaign.
“Whilst Suffolk does not have a problem with knife crime, with just 0.5% of crimes in the county in the past 12 months involving a knife, one person carrying a knife is one too many.
“I want anyone who thinks a knife will protect them to think again and bin a blade.
“Through the amnesty and wider campaign we can educate people about the dangers of carrying knives and give them the opportunity to dispose of knives safely and without prejudice.”