Hundreds of knives recovered from bins in Suffolk in just three months in police crackdown
PUBLISHED: 13:06 16 August 2017 | UPDATED: 13:13 16 August 2017
Swords were among more than 700 bladed weapons found in Suffolk since May, figures from a week-long crackdown on knife crime reveal.
Results of Operation Sceptre, a national week of action aiming to highlight the risks of carrying a knife, show the most knives – a total of 252 – were recovered in Bury St Edmunds.
Two swords were also deposited in amnesty blade bins, brought in for Suffolk Constabulary’s Bin a Blade campaign in 2011.
The bins have had more than 18,500 bladed items deposited in them in those six years.
Lowestoft was not far behind with 204 bladed items including a sword recovered from the bins since May.
Mildenhall’s bins had 114, Sudbury’s had 85 while those in Ipswich had the least with 50.
Superintendent Simon Mills, who was in charge of the operation, said: “Operation Sceptre is part of our ongoing proactive work across Suffolk to take knives off the streets and out of the hands of offenders. The relatively small numbers of weapons recovered and the limited number of arrests for possession of knives during this period points to the success of previous work.
“There is no excuse to carry a knife in Suffolk. Knife crime can have devastating consequences and if you are found illegally in possession of a knife you will be arrested, could be put before the court and brought to justice.
“Knives do not keep you safe – quite the opposite.
“By carrying a knife you are putting yourself in much greater danger, being more likely to become involved in a violent situation and get injured yourself.
He added: “If you believe that somebody you know is carrying a knife, do the right thing and report it to us or Crimestoppers – it could save a life.”
A weapons sweep carried out in Ipswich’s Jubilee Park during the operation resulted in two blades, a heavy table leg and a pool cue being recovered.
Despite a second sweep being conducted in Alderman Park, no weapons were found.
Three arrests were made in connection with weapons offences during Operation Sceptre.
Chloe Kittl, 19 and from Morland Road, Ipswich, was arrested on July 18.
She is due to appear before magistrates in Ipswich on September 28.
Terry Audus, 32 and from Cutters Close, Beck Row, was arrested in Mildenhall on July 20.
He was due to appear before magistrates on August 14, but failed to do so and the court has now issued a warrant for his arrest.
A 34-year-old woman from Ipswich arrested on July 18 will face no further action.
Suffolk’s police and crime commissioner Tim Passmore said: “I fully support the Constabulary’s Operation Sceptre, we need to do all we can through education, peer pressure, policing and sentencing to make it absolutely clear that it’s never acceptable for a person to carry a knife or weapon.
“I find it really disappointing that anyone carries a blade of any kind.
“The Bin a Blade campaign and the use of these bins is a great way of highlighting the issue of knife crime.
He added: “I would encourage anyone who has a knife or any other weapon to dispose of them responsibly and immediately.
“Ultimately it is about making Suffolk as safe as possible.”