681 weapons surrendered in Hertfordshire during knife amnesty week

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Hundreds of weapons including a throwing axe, bayonettes and a Second World War dagger were surrendered to police during knife amnesty week.

Operation Sceptre, which finished on Sunday, September 22, was run by police forces across the country to reduce the number of illegal knives in circulation.

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The national campaign follows an increase in knife-related incidents in the UK in the last few years, and it provided an opportunity to issue advice about the risks of carrying a knife in public.

During the amnesty 681 weapons were surrendered across the county including cleavers, combats knives, a folding lock knife and a butterfly knife.

Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire, David Lloyd, said: “It can be worrying to see this amount of knives being handed in, but every one that is given to the police means it is not on the street.

Other activities carried out during the campaign included test purchase operations with cadets, to ensure retailers following the law regarding knife sales to those under 18.

Knife arches and wands were deployed and knife sweeps were also conducted at locations across the county.

Mr Lloyd added: “Hertfordshire remains a safe place to live and work, but we are not immune to the threat of knife crime, which is an issue across the country. These amnesties are an integral part of Hertfordshire’s Serious Violence Strategy to reduce the number of knives on the streets, but also to send the message out that carrying a knife won’t keep you safe.”

Inspector Nicola Dean, from Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Crime Reduction Unit who led the campaign, said: “The public continue to support our knife amnesties and we have managed to take hundreds of potential weapons off of our streets.

“The amnesties form an integral part of our serious violence strategy and by conducting them regularly, we hope that the message is getting out there that carrying a knife is not a normal thing to do. The amnesties support the other work we are doing every week within our schools and through our other projects, working with young people in the county.

"As part of this strategy we are working with our partners in education, local government and social services to educate young people about the potential consequences of carrying a knife.

"Our #livesnotknives hashtag is also being shared by our partners in sport across their social media networks, reinforcing the message that carrying a knife can quickly lead to a prison sentence, serious injury or worse.”