Force knife surrender is hailed a massive success

Chief Inspector Mark Baines
Chief Inspector Mark Baines

A total of 140 knives were handed in during a fortnight-long surrender that took place last month across Lancashire.

From Monday October 17 to Monday October 31, Lancashire Police held the surrender as part of a national initiative to tackle knife crime and to remove weapons from Lancashire’s streets.

In total, 41 weapons were handed in across Blackpool, Wyre and Fylde and North Lancashire.

A further 30 knives were handed in across Preston, Chorley, South Ribble and Skelmersdale, while 69 knives were handed in in East Lancashire. Among the weapons given up were penknives, machetes, swords, axes, ‘zombie’ knives, kitchen knives and large blades.

Officers will now safely dispose of all of the items that were handed in.

Test purchasing operations were also carried out as part of the action against knife crime, with the force using police cadet volunteers to check on businesses selling knives or blades.

The majority of premises across the county were compliant, the few that failed are now working with officers and Trading Standards to resolve the issues, improve their standards and amend the training that staff receive while working for them.

Police say people can continue to hand in any knife at any police station with a front counter.

Chief Insp Mark Baines said: “We’ve been delighted with the response from our communities throughout the surrender, and it’s really pleasing to see all of the items passed to us are now in safe hands and can’t cause harm to anyone.

“I would still like to appeal to youngsters that carrying a knife doesn’t offer them protection, and not only is being in possession of a knife in a public place a criminal offence, young people are also more likely to be stabbed and seriously injured with their own weapon.

“We don’t want this to happen to anyone in Lancashire, and you can still hand in a weapon at one of our front counters to dispose of it safely.”

Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw said: “Yet again we have had an excellent response from the people of Lancashire and our streets are safer as a result.

“Knives can be lethal weapons and this type of crime can have devastating effects on people’s lives, which is why I will continue to support projects that help prevent vulnerable people getting involved in gangs and entering a life of crime.

“I have no doubt lives will have been saved as a result of this knife surrender – but it is not too late to hand knives over to the police, where they cannot be used to inflict injury or worse.”

Young people are encouraged to log onto the Trust Ed website – www.trusted2know.co.uk – to find out more about knife crime and the dangers of carrying a knife on Lancashire’s streets.