A week-long knife amnesty starts tomorrow (Wednesday), across Surrey, meaning anyone can hand in a weapon to police without fear of being prosecuted.
The last amnesty held in the county in January 2017 saw 237 weapons taken off the streets.
This week’s amnesty is part of a national initiative called Operation Sceptre which aims to tackle knife crime.
To enable knife owners to give up their weapons safely without fear of prosecution, knife bins will be located at police stations in Guildford, Staines, Reigate and Woking until Wednesday, 26 July. The Force is encouraging people to recognise that carrying a knife does not provide protection; a weapon can be used inadvertently in the heat of the moment, or can be turned against the owner and have life-changing effects.
It is illegal to:
- Sell a knife of any kind to anyone under 18 years old
- Carry a knife in public without good reason – unless it’s a knife with a folding blade 3 inches long (7.62 cm) or less, e.g a Swiss Army knife
- Carry, buy or sell any type of banned knife
- Use any knife in a threatening way, even a legal knife such as a Swiss Army knife.
The maximum penalty for carrying a knife is four years in jail or a £5,000 fine.
The Police and Crime Commissioner for Surrey, David Munro said: “Like the previous Surrey Police knife amnesty campaign held in January, we are encouraging knife owners to safely dispose of these harmful and deadly weapons.
“We’ve all seen the devastating effect knife crime can have on people’s lives and we must continue working together to rid these off our streets. I really hope this amnesty will again help reduce the number of these deadly weapons in Surrey.
“I also hope this campaign continues to help raise awareness, particularly amongst young people, that carrying a knife can have the most serious of consequences. They are too often seen as a form of protection when really they pose serious danger to those carrying the knives and others around them. I strongly urge all knife owners, young or old, to take this opportunity and surrender your weapon.”
Superintendent Gary Pike, who is leading Operation Sceptre on behalf of Surrey Police, said: “We’re urging people to take this opportunity to dispose of weapons without fear of prosecution, and safely and anonymously. We’re also appealing to anyone, including parents and carers, who know someone who carries a knife to encourage them to dispose of it.”
“Knives are deadly weapons. Carrying one is illegal and you will be arrested and prosecuted should we catch you with one. Our message to those who carry a knife or thinking of carrying a knife is that it does not protect you and in fact it makes you more vulnerable and places you in danger of serious harm. ”
The knife amnesty bins are being supplied by Black Country Metal Works Limited. All knives surrendered as part of the Surrey amnesty will be used to create a “Dove of Peace Monument”, which will represent the national intolerance of violent and aggressive behaviour associated with knife crime.
Clive Knowles, Chairman of Black Country Metal Works Limited, said: “It is fantastic to see that Surrey Police is yet again taking proactive action against knife crime and violence across its force area. We are aiming to collect a quarter of a million knives and weapons off the streets across the UK and are furiously campaigning in the hope that the monument can sit on the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square.”