Knife amnesty launched in Suffolk by police
Tuesday, 14th December 2010.
A yearlong knife amnesty was launched yesterday in Suffolk, as police and partners ask you to 'Bin a Blade'.
Three secure bins are situated outside Ipswich, Bury St Edmunds and Lowestoft Police Stations for the next 12 months. Anyone who has a knife or blade they wish to dispose of safely can deposit it anonymously in one of the bins.
The knife amnesty project was initiated by BBC Radio Suffolk’s Mark Murphy and Suffolk’s Chief Constable Simon Ash, and will be launched by teenage knife crime campaigner Holly Watson from Sudbury.
Since taking part in the Channel Four Battlefront cause awareness competition earlier this year and winning the Suffolk Junior Young Person of the Year award, Holly has been working with Suffolk Constabulary and the charity knifecrimes.org to develop initiatives such as the Bin a Blade amnesty to encourage young people not to carry knives.
Holly said, “My brother Lewis was stabbed in September 2009 and died from his injuries. I went from being a normal teenager to someone whose life was ripped apart by someone carrying a knife.
"I want to make carrying a knife socially unacceptable, and show people what the real consequences of carrying a knife can be – a criminal record, a prison sentence, or a serious or fatal injury to yourself or someone else.
“If you go out with a knife, or are thinking of doing so, I would urge you not to. Carrying a knife does not protect you; it just makes you more vulnerable.
"If you have a knife, please take it to one of the main police stations and bin a blade. You will not get into trouble for taking a knife there, and you will be taking a potentially dangerous weapon out of harm’s way.”
Mr Ash said Holly had inspired him to get the bins installed, and get her message across. "I have been really impressed with Holly's work to prevent young people from carrying knives, and I wanted to find a way in which the constabulary could support her campaign," he said.
"After talking to Mark and his team at BBC Radio Suffolk, we were able to draw up plans for the year-long knife amnesty.
“While Suffolk does not have a problem with knife crime, with just 0.5 per cent of crimes in the county in the past 12 months involving a knife, one person carrying a knife is one too many.
"I want anyone who thinks a knife will protect them to think again and bin a blade. Through the amnesty and wider campaign we can educate people about the dangers of carrying knives and give them the opportunity to dispose of knives safely and without prejudice.”
In the autumn, Radio Suffolk breakfast presenter Mark challenged Mr Ash to set up more permanent knife bins.
Mark said, “I'm so pleased that this project has got off the ground so swiftly. After reporting on successful knife amnesties in the past it just seemed the logical step to suggest having permanent bins. We live in an extremely safe county already but by getting more knives off our streets it can be even safer.
“At BBC Radio Suffolk we all live in the community we broadcast to and are keen to play our part in ensuring we all look out for each other, and carrying knives is nothing to be proud of. So if you carry a blade or have one lying around, bin it in one of our new bins!”
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