Cambridgeshire police is raising awareness on knife crime in a bid to make the county a safer place for everyone.
Last month, nearly 60 people were arrested for carrying a knife or offensive weapon around the county.
In April this year, the force joined a national campaign and organised National Week of Action against knife crime.
The amnesty formed part of the national ‘Operation Sceptre’ week of action and anyone who had a blade was able to hand it over at Thorpe Wood police station in Peterborough and Parkside police station in Cambridge, without fear of prosecution.
Other activities included extra patrols in areas of the county identified as ‘hotspots’ and test purchases to ensure retailers are not selling knives to people under the age of 18.
Data published in November last year showed that in Cambridgeshire, offences involving knives or sharp instruments rose 58% from 2018 to 2019; there were 908 offences in 2018 and 1,436 incidents a year later. Between January and October of 2020, there have been 1,178 recorded offences.
But, possession of an article with a blade or point offences decreased by 17% in Cambridgeshire in 2020/21 compared to figures for the previous financial year.
Cambridgeshire Constabulary said: “While knife crime is relatively rare, it is one of the priorities of our forces and our officers are committed to invest time and effort to tackle it and to ensure our communities are safer and people are protected from serious harm.
“We’re working hard to make the county a safer place for everyone, but we also need your help. Please tell us if you know someone who carries a weapon.”
As a reminder, it is illegal to:
- Sell a knife of any kind to anyone under 18 years old
- Carry a knife in a public place without good reason – unless it's a knife with a folding blade three inches long or less (for example: a Swiss Army knife)
- Carry, buy or sell any type of banned knife
- Use any knife in a threatening way
The maximum penalty for an adult carrying a knife is four years in prison and a fine of £5,000.
Anyone who knows someone who carries a knife can report it here or anonymously, via Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.