A knife amnesty will take place in Cambridgeshire next week in a bid to tackle associated crime and take weapons off the streets.

A knife amnesty will take place in Cambridgeshire next week in a bid to tackle associated crime and take weapons off the streets.

The move comes after police revealed there had been a near 25 per cent spike in possession of weapon offences in the county last year.

Figures released by police showed there were 514 recorded offences last year, up from 412 in 2016/16.

In Huntingdonshire, there was a 39 per cent increase, from 56 offences in 2016/17 to 78 last year.

Police say the figures are in line with a rise in offences across the country and remain below the national average.

Police forces across the country will take part in Operation Sceptre, allowing members of the public to hand in knives without prosecution.

From Tuesday (September 18) to the following Monday, amnesty bins will be located at Thorpe Wood Police Station, in Peterborough, Parkside Police Station, in Cambridge, and Wisbech Police Station.

In addition to amnesty bins, officers will be visiting schools to talk about knife crime and test purchases will be carried out at retail outlets.

The maximum penalty for an adult carrying a knife is four years in prison and a fine of £5,000.

Inspector Matt Snow said: "This amnesty provides us with an excellent opportunity to join with colleagues across the country to get knives off the streets.

"Knives ruin lives and it's important we are doing all we can to tackle the issue. Please make use of the amnesty bins next week - you could save a life.

"I'd urge the family and friends of people who carry knives to encourage them to make use of the amnesty. Even if you feel the person would never actually use the weapon, by disposing of it you completely eliminate that risk and you could be preventing them from being prosecuted.

"If people don't make use of the amnesty and they are found to be carrying a knife in a public place they could face a hefty fine and further prosecution by the courts."

Police and Crime Commissioner Jason Ablewhite said: "People carrying knives often do so without understanding the real consequences of using them: the devastation caused to victims who are seriously injured or fatally wounded and the impact on their families and friends. I ask everyone to support this campaign."

Anyone who knows someone who carries a knife can also report it anonymously by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or visiting https://crimestoppers-uk.org/.