Knife crime up 27 per cent in a year says Cambridgeshire police

Weapons handed in during a week long amnesty by Cambs police

Weapons handed in during a week long amnesty by Cambs police - Credit: Cambs Police

Offences involving knives rose by 27 per cent last year says Cambridgeshire Police after concluding a week-long amnesty which saw 60 knives and weapons handed in.  

Possession of an article with blade or point offences increased from 243 in 2020/21 compared to 309 in 2021/22.  

When compared to 2019/20 the increase is 5 per cent from 293 to 309. 

Large knives, machetes and a sword were some of the 65 weapons given over to police.  

Police say that changes to the Offensive Weapons Act last year banned items such as knuckledusters, extendable batons, curved swords and zombie knives.  

Weapons handed in during a week long amnesty by Cambs police

Weapons handed in during a week long amnesty by Cambs police - Credit: Cambs Police

Inspector Matt Snow said: “Tackling knife crime is a priority. 

“Regular amnesties form an important part of those efforts, as well as ongoing work in schools throughout term time, as we aim to make Cambridgeshire an even safer place.” 

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Darryl Preston, Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “I would like to thank all those who took the opportunity to dispose of their weapons safely; your decision has made our streets safer. 

“It is a sad reality that those who carry weapons are likely to be young people, they are also the people most likely to fall victim to it.  

“I will continue to support the constabulary hold amnesties and work within schools to dissuade people from carrying weapons in the first place.” 

Along with the amnesty, police went into schools to speak to young people, conducted extra patrols in ‘hotspot’ areas and worked with retailers. 

Weapons handed in during a week long amnesty by Cambs police

Weapons handed in during a week long amnesty by Cambs police - Credit: Cambs Police

A large screen paid for with Proceeds of Crime Act funding was also placed in central Peterborough displaying knife crime safety messages and encouraging people to make use of the amnesty. 

Analysis of recent data shows boys and men aged 16-20 are the most common age group to be involved in knife crime. 

Where knives are concerned, 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. 

There is still an opportunity to dispose of firearms and ammunition as part of a separately run surrender running until May 29. To dispose of a firearm, members of the public need to call 101 to organise an appointment. 

People wanting to hand in firearms can remain anonymous if preferred. However, any surrendered firearms found to be linked to criminal activity police say it will be investigated and appropriate action taken.