'Surrender your Knife’

Three regional Forces are joining together to raise awareness of the dangers of knife-related crime and ensure we all stay safe.

Northumbria, Cleveland, and Durham Police are working with the ‘Surrender a knife’ organisation to encourage the surrender of knives which may otherwise be used in crime throughout the next two weeks.

The British Ironwork Centre is also supporting the campaign by providing secure knife bins across the country which can be used by anyone to deposit knives or other bladed/pointed weapons.

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Vera Baird, said: “While we are fortunate that we don’t have the same knife problem here in Northumbria as in some areas of the country; one knife carried is one knife too many.

“That’s why we’re coming together as a region to support this national campaign and demonstrate our commitment to public safety.

“In the wrong hands a knife can be a deadly weapon and this initiative will let people who want to dispose of a knife do so safely.

“It’s great to be joining up with my fellow commissioners to take a proactive approach to keep knives off our streets and our region safe.”

Detective Chief Inspector Helena Barron understands there isn’t a knife crime culture or issue within Northumbria but believes raising awareness is critical to keeping knife crime to a minimum.

DCI Barron said: “We continue to use a combination of education, prevention and enforcement to ensure that knife crime in the force remains low.

“As well as taking tough enforcement action we’re carrying out reassurance work in the community. We will continue to visit schools, retailers and other partners to educate people about knife crime and, over the next few weeks, we will be taking the opportunity to highlight some of this valuable work.

“I’d like to reiterate that we don’t have the same scale of problem as other parts of the country, but we know there are public concerns and this initiative is primarily about addressing those concerns.

“People who carry knives are just as much at risk of harming themselves as well as others, and they are also at risk of being arrested, charged to court, and possibly sent to prison.

“As part of the campaign we will be providing disposal bins in stations for members of the public to come along and voluntarily dispose of any knives they may be in possession of.”

There will be bins allocated to the following police stations in Northumbria:

Central

Forth Banks

Gateshead

Northern

Middle Engine Lane

Hexham

Bedlington

Southern

Millbank

Southwick

Police and Crime Commissioner for Cleveland, Barry Coppinger said:  “We are proud to support this national initiative which will help to raise awareness about the damage and destruction that knives can cause. Over the next two weeks members of the public will have the opportunity to surrender knives safely and anonymously.   Removing knives from our streets will help protect our communities and provide a safer environment for the whole area.

Ron Hogg, Durham’s Police and Crime Commissioner, is supporting the amnesty. He said: “This is an ideal opportunity for residents who have unwanted knives in their household, to dispose of them in a safe and responsible way. I encourage residents to use the knife bins during the amnesty, available at various police stations across County Durham and Darlington.”

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