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Machetes, knuckledusters and curved swords handed to Cambridgeshire police during amnesty

More than 170 weapons including machetes, knuckledusters and even a pair of nunchucks were handed to police during a countywide amnesty.

Amnesty bins were placed in police stations in Cambridge and Peterborough, as well as being made available at events in Ely and in South Cambridgeshire.

Some of the knives handed in to police as part of a week-long amnesty
Some of the knives handed in to police as part of a week-long amnesty

Some of the 179 weapons, such as knuckledusters and curved swords, are illegal to own due to changes to the Offensive Weapons Act even if kept on private property.

In addition to the amnesty, officers conducted 38 ‘weapon sweeps’ in green spaces and other public areas, recovering 10 hidden items.

Officers also took part in an increased amount of engagement with retailers by providing information and conducting test purchases to ensure knives were not sold to those under 18.

More than 40 sessions at secondary and primary schools across the county were conducted by officers.

Possession of bladed article offences in Cambridgeshire decreased by five per cent from November 2022 to October 2023 when compared to the same period a year earlier (322 compared with 301).

Where knives are concerned, it is illegal to:

- sell a knife of any kind to anyone under 18 years old.

- carry a knife in public without good reason - unless it’s a knife with a folding blade 3 inches long (7.62 cm) or less, eg a Swiss Army knife

- carry, buy or sell any type of banned knife

- use any knife in a threatening way (even a legal knife, such as a Swiss Army knife)

The maximum penalty for an adult carrying a knife is four years in prison and a fine of £5,000.

Some of the knives handed in to police as part of a week-long amnesty
Some of the knives handed in to police as part of a week-long amnesty

Inspector Karl Secker said: “Thank you to everyone who made use of the amnesty to dispose of knives and other weapons.

“Speaking to young people about knife crime is an incredibly important part of our work to tackle the issue. I’m therefore pleased we managed to visit multiple schools across the county as part of the week of action.

“Tackling knife crime is a priority for the constabulary as we strive to make the county an even safer place to live.”

Police and crime commissioner Darryl Preston said: “Every weapon that has been surrendered is potentially a life saved - thank you to everyone who supported the knife amnesty.

“This is a great initiative that helps to make our streets safer and it forms part of our wider plan to tackle knife crime and serious violence, which is an important part of my Police and Crime Plan.”

Visit Cambridgeshire Constabulary’s website for more information on the Offensive Weapons Act and to access a list of the banned items.

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