POLICE stations across Dorset have been holding a week-long amnesty as part of a national campaign to fight knife crime.
The knife amnesty, which will run until 17th March, allows members of the public to dispose of unwanted bladed items at designated police stations without fear of prosecution.
Dorset Police is supporting Operation Sceptre, an ongoing national campaign, and knives of any description can be anonymously disposed of in secure bins at Weymouth, Poole, Bournemouth and Blandford police stations.
Superintendent Jared Parkin said: “Here in Dorset we do not have the extent of knife crime reported in some major metropolitan areas of the country. Carrying of knives by young people is not endemic in our policing area.
“We are holding the knife amnesty as part of our ongoing local approach to focusing upon prevention. Any knife taken out of circulation and off the street helps to prevent injuries and deaths.
“Carrying a knife is illegal and incredibly dangerous. People who carry knives for no good reason risk arrest, and the notion of self-defence is not a good reason.”
The maximum penalty for an adult carrying a knife is four years in prison and an unlimited fine. Anyone convicted of carrying a knife more than once will receive a prison sentence.
Dorset police and crime commissioner Martyn Underhill said: “Dorset does not have a problem with knife crime on a scale even close to that which has recently been featured in the national media, which is now the focus of government attention, but by the same token we cannot afford to be complacent.
“Knife amnesties are a vital tool in removing knives from our streets and they will continue across Dorset. Education and early intervention in schools is happening too in order to explain the dangers and consequences of carrying a knife.
“We must continue to raise awareness, keep talking about the problem and work with our partners across Dorset to tackle this issue together.
“Knife crime goes beyond policing. It’s a public health issue, it’s an education issue, it’s an attitude issue. Above all, it’s a community issue, so let’s all get involved in the conversation.”
Check online for locations and opening times before you make your journey as not all designated station are open seven days a week. For details go to www.dorset.police.uk/contact-us/visit-us
For information on knife laws go to www.gov.uk/buying-carrying-knives