Variety of blades handed over as Thames Valley Police tackles knife crime

In total, 47 knives were handed in. Photo: Thames Valley Police
In total, 47 knives were handed in. Photo: Thames Valley Police

Dozens of knives of all shapes and sizes were surrendered to Thames Valley Police during a campaign to tackle knife crime after statistics show it is on the rise.

From a First World War bayonet to potato peelers to Stanley knives, 47 weapons were handed in at special 'surrender bins' placed at 16 police stations across the region over a week in July.

A WWI bayonet and scabbard was among the items surrendered, along with potato peelers and can openers. Photo: Thames Valley Police

A WWI bayonet and scabbard was among the items surrendered, along with potato peelers and can openers. Photo: Thames Valley Police

According to figures from TVP, knife crime increased by 32 per cent and possession offences rose by 27 per cent between April, 2016, and March this year.

In a bid to support Operation Sceptre, the national campaign to reduce knife crime, police also visited schools and colleges to raise awareness of the dangers of carrying a blade as teenagers are the most likely.

Chief Inspector Helen Roberts, the officer responsible for coordinating the operation at TVP, said: “You are four times more likely to be a victim of knife crime if you carry a knife.

"People feel a sense of being invincible when they carry a knife, which is not the case, and they make risky decisions as a result putting themselves in dangerous situations."

Knives handed in to police. Photo: Thames Valley Police

Knives handed in to police. Photo: Thames Valley Police

A number of other proactive activities were undertaken to tackle knife crime as part of Operation Sceptre.

Working with licensees, knife arches were put in place in pubs and clubs as a condition of entry into the premises.

Some education establishments also installed temporary knife arches to identify the number of young people carrying weapons onto the site.

Officers also conducted a number of test purchase operations with Trading Standards - Police Cadets, all under the age of 18, attempted to buy a knife from a range of retailers.

Knives handed in to police. Photo: Thames Valley Police

Knives handed in to police. Photo: Thames Valley Police

During one of the operations, in Windsor and Maidenhead, only one of the four retailers tested sold a knife to the underage Cadets.

The retailer was provided with advice from TVP and is being investigated by Trading Standards.

Ch Insp Roberts added: “We are working hard to continue delivering a number of proactive and reactive activities to reduce knife crime in Thames Valley.

“I ask that members of the public who want to dispose of any unwanted knives, do so correctly.

"All metal knives can be taken to your local waste disposal site where there will be a skip for scrap metal.

“If you need to report a knife related crime to the police, please call 101 or dial 999 in an emergency if there is an immediate danger to life.”