A police-backed knife amnesty is to take place across Cambridgeshire next week, after figures show that knife crimes rose by more than a third in a year.

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

Amnesty bins will be situated in police stations in the county including Huntingdon, Thorpe Wood, Bayard Place, Parkside, Cambourne, Ely, March and Wisbech.

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 last knife amnesty was held in October, last year, and resulted in 147 weapons being taken off the streets.

Inspector Mark Rogers said: “We were pleased with the results of the last amnesty and we're determined to do all we can to combat knife crime in the county. Supporting this national operation provides us with an excellent opportunity to get more knives off the streets.

“Our message for this amnesty is simple – knives ruin lives. We're urging people to take this opportunity to dispose of weapons without fear of prosecution.

“We're also appealing to anyone, including parents and carers, who know someone who carries a knife to encourage them to dispose of it.”

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

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