68 knives, including a machete, surrendered in amnesty

Police have revealed that more than 68 knives were handed-in across Lancashire during its two-week amnesty as part of Operation Sceptre.

And 41 of those were surrendered in the Preston, Chorley and Skelmersdale areas, including a machete, a cutlass, a flick knife and several other kitchen and pen knives.

Lancashire police held the amnesty between July 17 and 31 as part of a national initiative to tackle knife crime and to remove weapons from Lancashire’s streets.

Residents were called on to place knives and blades in bins set up at nine police stations in Blackpool, Burnley, Preston, Skelmersdale, Morecambe, Fleetwood, Blackburn, Chorley and Colne.

Cadet volunteers were also used by officers to check the sale of knives and blades to underage people at Lancashire businesses.

Police found that while the majority of premises across the county were compliant, a few failed.

Officers say that these businesses are now working with the police and trading standards to resolve the issues, improve their standards and amend the training that staff receive whilst working for them.

Despite the surrender coming to an end, police say people can continue to hand in any knife at any police station.

Chief Inspector Mark Baines said: “I would still like to appeal to youngsters that carrying a knife doesn’t offer them protection.

“Not only is being in possession of a knife in a public place a criminal offence, young people are also more likely to be stabbed and seriously injured with their own weapon.”

Speaking at the launch of the campaign, he said: “Too many families have been affected by knife crime with even one person being stabbed being one too many.

“The consequences of carrying and using a knife can be devastating and potentially life-threatening.

“I would appeal directly to people that if you know someone who is carrying a knife, don’t keep silent. Report it.

“The law is simple – it is illegal to carry a knife, even if it belongs to someone else.

“Anyone who is found carrying a knife and is intending to use it as a weapon – even in self-defence can be arrested, go to court and receive a police record or even a prison sentence of up to four years and an unlimited fine.”

Young people who want to find out more about knife crime and the dangers of carrying a knife on Lancashire’s streets should log onto the Trust Ed website – www.trusted2know.co.uk

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