Sharp Shock: Blades handed to po­lice in knife amnesty

Nearly 80 blades handed to po­lice since Septem­ber

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

SHOCK­ING pic­tures of more than 75 blades dumped in a knife bin at Uxbridge Po­lice Sta­tion have been re­vealed by Hilling­don Po­lice.

The bins were set up in po­lice sta­tions in Hilling­don last Fe­bru­ary and peo­ple were en­cour­aged to sur­ren­der their knives as part of a Met­ro­pol­i­tan Po­lice cam­paign to cut out knife crime.

Hilling­don Po­lice re­vealed the fig­ures dur­ing a week-long push to tar­get those who carry knifes, which started on Mon­day Jan­uary 23.

Bor­ough com­man­der for Hilling­don, Colin Win­grove, said: “We are work­ing hard to take knives off our streets, ed­u­cate young peo­ple and bring to justice those who use them. Our mes­sage is clear, don’t carry a knife. You are risk­ing lives and your lib­erty when you do.”

A knife bin was in­stalled at Uxbridge Po­lice sta­tion, in War­wick Place, in Septem­ber.

It fol­lowed an in­ci­dent re­ported in the Gazette in the month pre­vi­ously when a wo­man was shocked to be turned away by of­fi­cers when she tried to hand in a knife she had found in a park.

Of­fi­cers re­fused to take the blade and in­stead sug­gested she de­posit the knife at Hayes Po­lice Sta­tion, around four miles away.

As part of the cam­paign, schools of­fi­cers are work­ing with young peo­ple to high­light the dan­gers of car­ry­ing knives.

Oper­a­tion Scep­tre is the Met-wide ini­tia­tive where of­fi­cers carry out weapons sweeps, in­tel­li­gence led stop and searches as well as pro­mot­ing knife bins and ex­e­cut­ing oper­a­tions to ar­rest those wanted in con­nec­tion with knifer­e­lated and vi­o­lent crimes.

Ini­tially launched in July 2015, the oper­a­tion has seen at least 793 peo­ple ar­rested dur­ing six weeks of ac­tion.

VI­CIOUS BLADE: One of the knives sur­ren­dered Pho­tos: Hilling­don Po­lice

WEAPONS TO­TAL: Colin Win­grove and the knives dumped at Uxbridge Po­lice Sta­tion since a spe­cial bin was in­stalled there

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