17 per cent decrease in bladed weapon possession offences ahead of knife amnesty

Image of knife recently seized or surrendered in the county. 

Image of knife recently seized or surrendered in the county. - Credit: Cambridgeshire Police

A 17 per cent year-on-year decrease in bladed weapon possession offences across Cambridgeshire has led police to hold another week-long knife amnesty.

Police figures show that, between April 2020 and March 2021, there were 243 possession of an article with a blade or point offences.

123 were in Fenland and Peterborough while 118 were in East Cambs, South Cambs and Cambridge.

People will be able to hand in knives without fear of prosecution next week as part of a national week of action.

From Monday April 26 to Sunday May 2, people will be able to dispose of knives at Thorpe Wood Police Station in Peterborough and Parkside Police Station in Cambridge.

The amnesty forms part of the national ‘Operation Sceptre’ week of action. Other activities include extra patrols in areas of the county identified as ‘hotspots’ and test purchases to ensure retailers are not selling knives to people under the age of 18.

 Images of knives recently seized or surrendered in the county

Images of knives recently seized or surrendered in the county - Credit: Cambridgeshire Police 

Possession of an article with a blade or point offences decreased by 17% in Cambridgeshire in 2020/21 compared to figures for the previous financial year.

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It is illegal to: 

- sell a knife of any kind to anyone under 18 years old.

- carry a knife in public without good reason - unless it’s a knife with a folding blade 3 inches long (7.62 cm) or less, eg a Swiss Army knife

- carry, buy or sell any type of banned knife

- use any knife in a threatening way (even a legal knife, such as a Swiss Army knife)

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

Inspector Matt Snow said: “Although it is encouraging to see a reduction in the number of possession of a blade offences, it is unclear to what extent the ongoing pandemic has influenced the figures.

“The amnesty next week provides people with an excellent opportunity to dispose of knives safely and without fear of prosecution. Disposing of a knife could save a life – it’s that simple.

“We’re also urging the family and friends of people who carry knives to have conversations with them about the dangers and 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.

“We’re pleased to be able to join colleagues across the country in supporting Op Sceptre as part of our ongoing efforts to tackle knife crime in Cambridgeshire.”