Turned away hand­ing in a knife at po­lice sta­tion

Woman was told staff could not ac­cept long-bladed weapon and to take it else­where

Harefield Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - By Alexan­der Ballinger alexan­der.ballinger@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

A WOMAN has spo­ken of her shock at be­ing turned away from a west Lon­don po­lice sta­tion when she tried to hand in a knife she had found in a park.

The mem­ber of the pub­lic, who asked not to be named, said she dis­cov­ered the long-bladed knife ly­ing on the grass in Rec­tory Park, Northolt.

When she tried to hand it in at Uxbridge po­lice sta­tion that evening she was told they could not ac­cept it and she would have to travel to Hayes to de­posit the po­ten­tial weapon in a knife bank there.

She also says the of­fi­cer she spoke to failed to take any de­tails about the knife or where it had been found – in­for­ma­tion she as­sumed would pro­vide use­ful in­tel­li­gence.

“The po­lice of­fi­cer showed com­plete dis­re­gard for the knife. She didn’t even write down where I’d found it,” said the mum-of-three, who was moved to con­tact us af­ter read­ing about a fa­tal stab­bing in Hayes.

“There was a group of youths hang­ing around smok­ing drugs close to where I found the knife.

“Had I left it there, there could have been an ar­gu­ment, one of those kids could have picked it up and there could have been a tragic ac­ci­dent.”

The woman said she found the knife on the evening of Wed­nes­day Au­gust 10, and went to the po­lice sta­tion around 10.30pm that night.

Af­ter be­ing told she would have to take it to one of three knife banks in Hayes, she replied that she would leave it in a drain out­side the po­lice sta­tion for of­fi­cers to deal with, which she promptly did.

A Met Po­lice spokesman told our getwest­lon­don web­site the knife should have been ac­cepted at the po­lice sta­tion and de­tails of where it was found ought to have been taken.

“Po­lice in Uxbridge re­main fully com­mit­ted to do­ing all they can to re­duce knife crime, as well as tack­ling gang crime and to take more knives and weapons off our streets,” he said.

“Any neighbourhood of­fi­cer not re­spond­ing to an emer­gency call, can ac­cept and de­posit any bladed ar­ti­cle found by a mem­ber of the pub­lic where ap­pro­pri­ate.

“De­tails of when and where the knife was found should also be recorded by the at­tend­ing of­fi­cer as best prac­tice to build on ex­ist­ing po­lice in­tel­li­gence in the lo­cal area.

“Mem­bers of the pub­lic can also at­tend their lo­cal po­lice sta­tion to sur­ren­der knives safely.

“A num­ber of knife bins have been sited across Lon­don and as part of the Met’s ef­fort to take knives of the streets.

“We are also work­ing with Words 4 Weapons – a char­ity that has 30 knife sur­ren­der bins lo­cated across the cap­i­tal.

“A map show­ing the lo­ca­tion of the sur­ren­der bins is avail­able on the Metropoli­tan Po­lice web­site.

“Any­one who finds a knife can also call po­lice on 101 to ar­range col­lec­tion.”

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