Knife amnesty launched in Uttlesford

An amnesty is being run in Uttlesford as part of a national campaign to tackle knife crime.

The Uttlesford Community Safety Partnership is providing a knife bin where all bladed items that people do not want or should not have can be disposed of safely and without fear of prosecution.

The temporary bin will be taken to parishes across the district over the coming weeks - residents should look out for details in the local press, on social media and in parish newsletters.  The bin will first be at Co-op car park Flitch Green CM6 3FY 10-2pm on Wednesday 1 December.

The initiative is part of Operation Sceptre, a coordinated nationwide effort led by police forces to tackle serious violence by reducing the number of knives in circulation.

In Uttlesford, the operation is also being used as an opportunity to raise awareness of new legislation which makes it illegal to possess certain weapons in private places, such as homes. This includes items such as knuckledusters, flick knives and telescopic truncheons.

Essex Police Deputy Chief Constable Andy Prophet has laid out the dangers of knife crime. He has also appealed to anyone planning to carry a blade in the county not to - even if they attempt to justify it as for their own safety.

DCC Prophet said: "Carrying a knife means lives are being lost needlessly or changed forever and we are determined to do everything we can to prevent more people from suffering the devastation it causes.

"Knife crime wrecks lives and every life lost in Essex is a tragedy. We make no apology for our uncompromising approach to tracking down and arresting people responsible for knife crime.

"The key, however, is we are tackling the problem - but we are not doing it alone. We work with local authorities and voluntary organisations throughout the county to ensure this message is being delivered by more than just the police and we must continue working together to do everything we can to get knives off our streets."

Cllr Colin Day, Uttlesford District Council's Portfolio Holder for Communities and Public Safety, said: "Whilst knife related crime in Uttlesford is low, we have seen the impact that incidents involving knives can have on victims, their families and the wider community.

"It is important to prevent knife crime from happening in the first place. I would urge anyone, including those with ornamental weapons at home who may not be aware of the new legislation, to make use of the amnesty and to dispose of a knife, whether the reason they have it, in this safe and secure way."

Anyone who wants to surrender a knife should make sure it is fully wrapped up and placed in a secure container before bringing it to the amnesty bin.

If someone is unsure about whether to bring in a knife, they can contact Essex Police at Uttlesford.cpt@essex.police.uk for advice.

16 November 2021

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