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Thousands of knives, swords and blades handed in during Suffolk knife crackdown

PUBLISHED: 18:50 03 October 2018 | UPDATED: 20:12 03 October 2018

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

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

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Police have opened amnesty bins across Suffolk following a targeted operation against knife crime last month.

Thousands of blades have been emptied from amnesty bins across the county Picture: KATIE COLLINS/PRESS ASSOCIATIONThousands of blades have been emptied from amnesty bins across the county Picture: KATIE COLLINS/PRESS ASSOCIATION

The constabulary were in out in force for Operation Sceptre, the dedicated week of policing aimed at reducing knife crime, which took place from September 18 to 24.

This followed the spate of stabbings which occurred across Ipswich over the summer putting pressure on Suffolk police.

A total of 2,105 bladed items including knives, knuckle dusters and even short-swords were handed into the amnesty bins – deposits where bladed objects can be handed in without repercussion.

Supt Kerry Cutler said: “Every knife in our amnesty bins is another knife off the streets, out of the hands of criminals and not in harm’s way.

Sergeant Matt Paisley holds an 19th century cavalry sword handed into the bins Picture: RACHEL EDGESergeant Matt Paisley holds an 19th century cavalry sword handed into the bins Picture: RACHEL EDGE

“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.”

Ipswich’s three knife amnesty bins – located on the Queen’s Way, Princes Street and Bramford Road – contained a total of 819 knives and one knuckle duster when they were emptied.

During the week-long campaign, officers carried out weapons sweeps in Alexandra Park and in public areas in the vicinity of Goals in Ipswich.

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

Three people were subsequently arrested on suspicion of possession of a knife.

Amnesty blade bins across Suffolk were emptied with the following results:

Ipswich – Princes Street: 560 bladed items.

Ipswich – Queen’s Way: 197 bladed items.

Ipswich – Bramford Road: 62 bladed items.

Lowestoft: 724 bladed items.

Bury St Edmunds: 403 bladed items.

Sudbury: 131 bladed items.

Mildenhall: 18 bladed items.

Haverhill: 20 bladed items.

Supt Cutler said: “Let me be clear – knives have no place on our streets.

“You may think carrying a knife will ensure your safety and give you protection, but in reality if you carry a knife there is a greater risk it will be used, either by you or on you.

“If you carry a knife you could use it in heat of the moment and seriously injure or kill someone, or it could be used on you. “This is a key message which we emphasise in our awareness-raising work with children and young people across Suffolk.”

As well as three bins in Ipswich town they are also located outside Ipswich Fire Station and at police stations in Lowestoft, Bury St Edmunds, Mildenhall, Sudbury and Haverhill.

Since the Bin a Blade campaign was launched in Suffolk in 2011, 21,982 bladed items have been deposited and destroyed.

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