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Blade amnesty in New Forest to tackle knife crime

PEOPLE are being invited to surrender knives or sharp objects to police in the New Forest during a week of action aimed at tackling knife crime.

Special amnesty bins will be in place in Lymington and New Milton, where the blades can be deposited for disposal without any action being taken against the person handing them in.

Running from Monday 26th April to Sunday 2nd May, the initiative is part of a nationwide campaign called Operation Sceptre.

This machete was handed over to PCSO Alan McCaffery during a patrol (46456465)
This machete was handed over to PCSO Alan McCaffery during a patrol (46456465)

An amnesty bin will be in place within Lymington police’s enquiry office at the town hall in Avenue Road, from 8am to 4pm Monday to Friday. It closes between midday and 1pm for lunch.

On Saturday 1st May it will be in Station Road, New Milton, 9.30am-4pm, where officers will also be holding a beat surgery to hear any feedback or concerns from the public.

The blades should be brought in secure containers or bags.

Writing on Facebook, local neighbourhood Sgt Katrina Smith said: “If you do wish to dispose of any knives then please use the bins to do so.

“My aim is to make the streets safer and to deter those carrying knives.”

The week of action comes after a machete was handed over by a member of the public to PCSO Alan McCaffery as he was carrying out a patrol on Monday.

Sharing an image of the implement on Facebook, PCSO McCaffery described it as a “classic example” of the sort of thing people could surrender.

He wrote: “This particular individual used it once upon a time in the garden, and whilst this would have been absolutely fine to do so as there are no current laws to possess one under 50cm in length, it is illegal to sell, purchase and/or import one over that length into the UK.

“Like this person, ask yourself, ‘Do I really need this type of tool/weapon lying around?’ ”

As well as taking the securely packed blades to Lymington Town Hall or Station Road, New Milton, people can call officers on 101 to arrange for their collection.

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