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Hundreds of knives taken off Ipswich streets as part of crackdown

PUBLISHED: 19:08 18 September 2018 | UPDATED: 11:27 19 September 2018

Knife Amnesty bin - Operation Sceptre

Knife Amnesty bin - Operation Sceptre

Archant

Hundreds of knives have been taken off the streets of Ipswich in the shadow of a series of stabbings.

Knife Amnesty bin - Operation SceptreKnife Amnesty bin - Operation Sceptre

More than 20,000 blades across Suffolk have been claimed by police since 2009 - but the Princes Street knife amnesty bin in Ipswich contained hundreds of blades from previous weeks when it was emptied on Tuesday.

There have been at least nine reports of serious assaults involving bladed weapons over the summer, with the death of Tavis Spencer-Aitkens on June 2 leading the community in the Nacton area of Ipswich to rally against individuals carrying knives.

Despite the ongoing violence on the streets, Supt Kerry Cutler assured the public the incidents were between parties known to each other.

Knife Amnesty bin - Operation SceptreKnife Amnesty bin - Operation Sceptre

But she said: “Every knife in our amnesty bins is another knife off the streets, out of the hands of criminals and not in harms way.”

“Our message could not be clearer - get caught with a knife, you will get a criminal conviction.

“If you want to dispose of a blade, wrap it in cardboard or duct tape or a carrier bag, cover any sharp edges, do the right thing and deposit it in our bins.”

Knife Amnesty bin - Operation SceptreKnife Amnesty bin - Operation Sceptre

The knives removed from Princes Street will be shredded and disposed of safely.

Since the Bin A Blade campaign first started in 2009, amnesty bins have been located in Lowestoft, Bury St Edmunds, Mildenhall, Sudbury and Haverhill.

There are three in Ipswich - at the Princes Street fire station, Bramford Road and Queen’s Way.

Knife Amnesty bin - Operation SceptreKnife Amnesty bin - Operation Sceptre

After being emptied in February this year, the Princes Street knife amnesty bin has been filled with kitchen knives, souvenirs from abroad and also so-called ‘zombie’ knives - serrated blades designed to injure others.

The latest knife crime campaign, which runs September 18 to 24, aims to make the dangers and risks of carrying knives and blades even more apparent to those considering arming themselves with weapons.

Supt Cutler reminded residents of the reality of they situation they work in.

Over 800 blades were emptied from Ipswich bins alone Picture: RACHEL EDGEOver 800 blades were emptied from Ipswich bins alone Picture: RACHEL EDGE

She said: “Families in Ipswich are learning to live with the loss of a relative, the loss of their son.

“We urge the public to make the right choice.”

Superintendent Cutler added: “To do nothing is not an option. We know we have to communicate the message to people that carrying a knife is an offence. A knife in your hands could injure yourself, someone else, even kill someone.”

Operation Sceptre saw thousand of knives handed in to amnesty bins like this one Picture: RACHEL EDGEOperation Sceptre saw thousand of knives handed in to amnesty bins like this one Picture: RACHEL EDGE

Children may have talked about knives with friends or heard stories about those that carry them, but parents/carers should still consider having the conversation, with further information from Suffolk Constabulary available here.

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