Knife amnesty aimed at halting crime

POLICE have launched a knife amnesty in a bid to halt spiralling violent crime as new figures reveal a 16.2% increase.In one day alone last week the landlord of the Orwell Mariner in Vernon Stree was attacked by a man brandishing a foot-long chef's knife.

POLICE have launched a knife amnesty in a bid to halt spiralling violent crime as new figures reveal a 16.2% increase.

In one day alone last week the landlord of the Orwell Mariner in Vernon Stree was attacked by a man brandishing a foot-long chef's knife.

The same day an Ipswich man needed hospital treatment after he was stabbed by a gang of up to 20 youths in Peterhouse Close.

Police have already this year dealt with more knife-wielding criminals this year than they did for the whole of 1998.


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And as the summer hots up there's no sign the trend is changing.

Over the last year knives have been responsible for the murder of Capel pensioner Joan Albert and the hold up of the Belstead Arms pub on June 4.

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Three masked men used a blade to threaten the pub landlord Kevin Watkins and his partner Val Cocks before making off with £17,000.

In an attempt to beat the knifemen, three solid steel bins will be dotted around the town centre at Civic Drive, Queens Way and Hawthorn Drive.

The amnesty will last throughout July.

The number of violent crimes increased from 6,993 last year to 8,127 this year.

But there was also a 13% increase in detection rates.

The amnesty includes all weapons with blades more than three inches long.

Inspector Peter Haystead said: "The past 4 years have seen a steady increase in the number of knives and other offensive weapons that officers seize as a result of incidents that we attend and checks that we make."

The inspector called on any members of the public who knew people carrying weapons to contact Crime Stoppers on 800 555111.

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