Warwickshire Police launches knife surrender campaign

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Warwickshire Police is urging people to surrender their knives at police stations as part of a four-week long campaign to reduce knife crime.

During the campaign, which runs from September 18 to October 15, anyone can surrender a knife or blade at knife surrender bins across the county - with bins located at Leamington and Rugby stations.

The campaign, jointly launched by Warwickshire Police and West Mercia Police, is part of Operation Sceptre, a national operation to reduce knife crime and the number of families affected by knife crime.

People surrendering knives at the stations will not have to leave their names or any details although if police suspect a weapon has been used in a crime they will examine it for evidence.

Chief Inspector Sharon Cannings said: "While the region doesn't have a big knife problem we're keen to play our part in this national campaign to tackle knife crime and the damage it causes to communities.

"Knife crime doesn't just affect the victims it affects the families of victims and offenders and has a devastating impact on the wider community.

"We want people who carry knives to stop and think about the potential consequences for others and themselves.

"For the next four weeks people will have the opportunity to surrender those knives anonymously. The decision to do so might be the most important decision they ever make."

Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe said: "Knife crime has a devastating effect on people's lives - both for victims, perpetrators, their families and the wider community. While thankfully knife crime is not commonplace in Warwickshire, it's still important that we all work together to rid knives from our streets.

"There is no circumstance where carrying a knife as a weapon is acceptable and, while some people wrongly perceive that a knife offers them some kind of protection, in reality it only serves to make them more vulnerable while placing those around them at greater risk.

"Every knife surrendered is one less that can cause death, destruction and misery, so I am very supportive of this campaign. I hope anyone who owns a knife - young or old - will take this opportunity to surrender their weapon and dispose of it safely."

Clive Knowles from the British Iron Centre said: "The knives surrendered will also be included in the 'save a life, surrender your knife' campaign which has seen a 26ft tall angel sculpture created at The British Ironwork Centre in Oswestry.

"Their campaign has reached national level and has seen over 100,000 knives taken off the streets of the UK and welded to what is also known as 'the national monument against violence and aggression.' West Mercia Police has supported and will continue to support the British Ironworks' effort to raise awareness on the UK wide knife crime dilemma."