Northampton knife amnesty sees 50 blades surrendered in just three hours
Chief Constable Nick Adderley has made tackling knife crime one of his policing priorities
Police officers binned an astonishing 50 potential weapons in just three hours as part of a knife amnesty in Northampton.
A week-long county-wide sweep tackling knife crime last month saw 167 blades surrendered in towns and villages.
But officers from Northampton's Neighbourhood Team corralled nearly a third of that number after spreading the word they would be outside Morrisons' Kettering Road supermarket between noon and 3pm on May 13.
The haul included cleavers, kitchen knives, scissors and a hacksaw.
As an added bonus, 42 locals signed up for Neighbourhood Alert with others offering intelligence about potential crimes in the area.
Chief Constable Nick Adderley this week made tackling knife crime one of his priorities for policing the county over the next 12 months.
He said: "This remains a serious concern within Northamptonshire where more than 1,000 people were victims of knife crime in the past 12 months.
"We will continue to take robust action against offenders and we will work with young people to explain the dangers of carrying knives – last month alone, one in three offenders were aged under 18."
Plans include more knife amnesties as part of the national #OpSceptre campaign.
Superintendent Adam Ward, Northamptonshire's lead on knife crime, said: “While the vast majority of people don’t carry knives – and that’s a really important thing to remember – the operational activity demonstrates ways in which we are working with other agencies and the community to prevent it happening in the first place and tackle those that do.
“Prevention is a huge part in reducing the risk of knife crime, and we have many activities aimed at this.
"For example, talking to young people and education is key to dispel myths such as the fact that carrying a knife makes you safer. In fact, it puts you at more risk as it can be used against you or you could end up using it. It’s just not worth it – even carrying a knife can land you a prison sentence and ruin your life in so many ways.”
“We work with partner agencies and provide advice and help to those who are concerned about themselves, or someone they know being at risk as it’s important for someone in that position to know there is support out there and other options.
“But make no mistake, we will and do come down hard on those who put other people at risk and continue to flout the law. Most people don’t do this and we are determined to bring the few that do to justice.”