Amnesty launched on offensive weapons

POLICE in Ipswich have launched a bid to clear offensive weapons off the streets.Following the success of a weapons amnesty in Lowestoft over the past four weeks where around 100 weapons have been surrendered, Ipswich police have arranged an amnesty in three locations in the town during the month of July.

POLICE in Ipswich have launched a bid to clear offensive weapons off the streets.

Following the success of a weapons amnesty in Lowestoft over the past four weeks where around 100 weapons have been surrendered, Ipswich police have arranged an amnesty in three locations in the town during the month of July.

Under the 'Suffolk First' initiative, the scheme is being launched in Ipswich as part of a crime reduction campaign.

During July, members of the public will be able to surrender knives and other weapons in solid steel knife bins, which will be accessible 24 hours a day at three locations:

l Outside Ipswich police station

l Queens Way shops

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l Hawthorn Drive shops

Each of the bins will carry high visibility markings, and posters and leaflets will be distributed to shops, pub, clubs and schools to remind people about the amnesty and encourage them to place their weapons in the bins.

Inspector Peter Haystead, who is launching the campaign, said: "There are several laws which relate to the possession of offensive weapons but in simple terms it is against the law for people to have anything with them in a public place which is made or adapted for causing injury.

"There is additional legislation which precludes the carrying of all knives with the exception of a folding pocket knife with a blade which is less than three inches long – carrying something for 'self defence' is no excuse.

"Possession of an offensive weapon can carry a penalty of up to four years' imprisonment on indictment or six months' imprisonment when dealt with as a summary offence."

The month-long amnesty will give members of the public the opportunity to contact the police with any information or concerns that they have about people suspected of carrying knives and weapons illegally. Calls should be made to Inspector Peter Haystead on 01473 383204 or anonymous calls can be made to Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111.

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