New permanent knife surrender bins installed in Swindon
Wiltshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Philip Wilkinson, joined partners from Wiltshire Police, South Swindon Parish Council, Swindon Community Safety Partnership and Swindon Borough Council at Broadgreen Community Centre to mark the launch of Operation Sceptre, a national campaign aimed at reducing knife crime.
Broadgreen Community Centre is one of four locations in Swindon where new permanent knife surrender bins have been installed, with bins also being placed at the Walcot Dome, Liden Library and the Pinetrees Community Centre in Pinehurst.
Mr Wilkinson said:
“Tackling knife crime is central to my police and crime plan, and I would encourage people to safely discard any weapons or knives they may carry in the ‘knife surrender bins’ provided by Wiltshire Police.
“The bins are in areas where we know they are needed, and offer people a safe and anonymous way of getting rid of a knife.
“Across the country, thousands of weapons have been collected in similar bins and every knife collected in Swindon could potentially save a life”
Throughout the week, a number of Blunt Truth sessions, which have been funded by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner and are run in conjunction with Wiltshire Police and the NHS, will be delivered in schools across Wiltshire, to engage with students about the consequences of carrying and knife and advising them how to report anonymously if they know somebody who is.
Mr Wilkinson continued:
“Too often we’ve seen the tragic consequences of knife crime in Wiltshire and we need to make every effort possible to engage with young people in our community that they can report in confidence if they know their peers are carrying knives.
“Knife crime has risen by 15% in Wiltshire and Swindon, and by working with our partners in education, the NHS, our Community Safety Partnerships and the Youth Justice Service through initiatives like the Blunt Truth, I want young people to be more informed and communities to feel safer”
These are the first permanent knife surrender bins to be installed in Swindon and Wiltshire, but permanent weapons bins are being used across the country.
Four permanent knife surrender bins were installed at locations in Lichfield, Staffordshire in July 2023. They were funded by the Staffordshire Police and Crime Commissioner and a recent report (November 9 2023) shows 280 knives have already been recovered.
Superintendent Guy Elkins is the Swindon Hub Commander:
“Operation Sceptre isn’t just about enforcement activity, it’s also about education and wider awareness of knife crime.
“Teams across Swindon and the rest of Wiltshire will be conducting a wide range of activity, working with our partners in education and public health to highlight the risks of knife crime and the dangers of carrying a knife.
“We know the huge damage carrying any kind of bladed article can cause. That is why we have installed four permanent knife surrender bins in Swindon where people can safely dispose of a knife, blade or other weapon.
“Once deposited in the bin then it will be secure until it’s removed by professionals.
“I would encourage anybody in Swindon who carries a knife to please consider their choices and think about the terrible consequences that it can have, both to yourself and other people.”