Amnesty Hits 4,300 at Halfway Point

Monday, 04 July, 2011

Over four thousand three hundred knives have been handed in to Suffolk Constabulary at the halfway point of the Bin A Blade amnesty.

During the yearlong campaign, permanent knife bins are situated outside Ipswich, Mildenhall, Lowestoft and Bury St Edmunds Police Stations. Two mobile bins are visiting smaller stations, and for July they are at Newmarket and Halesworth.

In June 498 knives were deposited anonymously in the six bins, taking the total since the campaign started last December to 4327 bladed or sharp articles. Whilst the majority of knives handed in last month were kitchen knives, a chainsaw was in the collection at Lowestoft. One of the mobile bins has just finished a two-month spell at Felixstowe with 247 knives deposited, and this bin has now moved to Halesworth Police Station on Norwich Road where it will be available for the next four weeks between 9am and 5pm.

The amnesty was inspired by 18-year-old anti-knife crime campaigner Holly Watson, whose brother Lewis was fatally stabbed in Sudbury in September 2009. She said, "I think it's amazing how many knives have been handed in. It goes to show that when these bins are put in place - they do work.

"I urge anyone who carries a knife or knows anybody who carries a knife to bin them safely in the Bin a Blade bins. Every knife taken out of circulation could be a life saved. Even if you don't carry a knife but have old ones kicking around indoors e.g. in drawers, in the loft or garage etc the safest place for them is the bin a blade bins.

"We are now halfway through the year-long amnesty, and I hope to see many more blades binned. From the amount of knives binned so far, I think this goes to prove that every police station in the country should have either a static or mobile bin."

Chief Constable Simon Ash added, "Four thousand three hundred knives is an astonishing number, and I am very pleased that they are still being handed in, making Suffolk safer with every blade binned. Every knife is deposited anonymously whether at a permanent bin outside stations or the mobile bins inside inquiry offices.

"People living and working in ten of our main towns have so far had the opportunity to take part in the amnesty, and the mobile bins will be visiting more police stations over the coming months to ensure unwanted and illegal knives are taken out of circulation and harm's way."

All the deposited knives will be taken to Sackers Recycling in Great Blakenham where they will be stored securely. At the end of the amnesty in December 2011, Sackers will tip them all into their metal shredder to be safely disposed of.

A number of other initiatives are planned to run alongside the countywide amnesty, including a community TV commercial raising awareness of the possible outcomes of carrying a knife. "Bin a Blade" is also supported by BBC Radio Suffolk.

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