Police to launch amnesty as new figures show increase in knife crime


- Credit: Archant © 2011

A police-backed knife amnesty will take place across Cambridgeshire next week, after new figures showed incidents of knife crime increased by more than a third in just a year.

The amnesty, which will allow anyone to hand in a weapon without prosecution, starts on Monday and is part of a week-long national initiative called Operation Sceptre.

The campaign aims to reduce knife crime and take weapons off the street.

Amnesty bins will be situated in police stations in the county and officers will also take mobile amnesty bins out into communities in an effort to reach more people and promote key safety messages.

There were 328 possession of weapons offences in Cambridgeshire in 2015/16, a 37.2 per cent increase on the previous year.

In Huntingdonshire, there were 52 incidents in 2015/16, up by almost 27 per cent year-on-year.

The maximum penalty for an adult carrying a knife is four years in prison and a fine of £5,000. Last week the Sentencing Council for England and Wales called for tougher penalties to be introduced.

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Inspector Mark Rogers said: “The figures for crimes involving offensive weapons remain low and you are very unlikely to be a victim of knife crime, however the rise in incidents is concerning.

“We have a clear message for this campaign - it’s not worth carrying a knife because it could ruin your life.

“We would urge anyone, including parents and carers, who know someone who carries a knife to encourage them to dispose of it without fear of prosecution.”

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