Hundreds of knives and weapons emptied from amnesty bin
Around 610 knives and 145 knuckle dusters have been deposited in the Bury St Edmunds knife amnesty bin since September.
The haul of weapons was emptied from the bin last week ahead of Operation Sceptre, a national week of action against knife crime.
Sergeant Matthew Paisley said: “Since September 2018 more than 750 weapons, including 610 knives have been deposited in the Bury St Edmunds amnesty bin. Every weapon given up means there is one less knife in our community, one less knife on our streets. There are a number of knife bins across Suffolk and I would encourage people to use them and help us to keep Suffolk safe.
“We will take robust and appropriate action against people found to be illegally in possession of a knife. Police are determined to take positive measures to prevent offences by removing knives and offensive weapons before any harm is caused.”
A new amnesty bin was unveiled in Stowmarket on Monday as part of the campaign.
Tim Passmore, Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “Well, I think we need to put as many of these bins in the county as we can. There is a large number of people and we want to make it as easy as possible for those here who have got knives who want to dispose of them, to do it.”
Officers from across Suffolk have also been using intelligence-led deployments, weapons sweeps and high visibility patrols to target and disrupt offenders who carry and use knives.
Shawn Wakeling, inspector at Stowmarket police station, said: “The main reason for us doing it [introducing the knife bin] is to show we’re not oblivious or impervious with what might be there, although as a county Suffolk isn’t seeing the horrendous events as frequently as some major cities or towns.
“We want to engage with as many people as possible, particularly youngsters. It’s not safe to carry a knife, we’re really looking to engage with schools and individuals.”
Suffolk Constabulary is one of three forces in England and Wales where knife crime has gone down in the last four years, bucking the national trend.
Inspector Wakeling added: “We accept and understand individuals may not have the confidence to come forward and tell the police.”
The Stowmarket amnesty knife bin is situated on the junction between Stricklands Road and Ipswich Street, once the bin is emptied the knives are destroyed.