Wiltshire's Police and Crime Commissioner has welcomed the launch of a national campaign designed to prevent knife crime.
As well as giving people the chance to hand in their unwanted blades, Operation Sceptre is also using the next fortnight to highlight the work Wiltshire Police does to tackle violent crime.
Officers and staff from Wiltshire Police work with local councils, public health, youth workers and charities in the county with the aim of stopping knife crime.
PCC Philip Wilkinson said:
"“Whilst our officers are doing great work to get knives off the streets in Wiltshire, more needs to be done to make sure people feel safe in their communities.
“It’s ultimately through the work of our early intervention teams that we’ll be able to effectively deal with knife crime. Knife crime not only ruins the lives of victims and their families but also of the perpetrators, who, in the majority of cases, are young.
“The Police and law enforcement agencies have their part to play in stopping knife crime but my office and other bodies have to intervene earlier where necessary, to make sure that we’re providing positive alternatives and opportunities to those who are at risk and vulnerable to being targeted and drawn in."
A two week amnesty will run alongside Op Sceptre (15 - 26 November) where several amnesty bins will be placed in local police stations and public buildings for people to dispose of their knives and other bladed weapons without fear of prosecution.
The campaign is being supported by Carol Tait, whose son Cameron was stabbed with a 15cm long hunting knife on 12 November 2018 when he was out with his friends in Calne. The knife went into his abdomen and came out the other side.
Cameron’s attacker was jailed for four-and-a-half years, after being found guilty of GBH. He was cleared of a more serious charge of wounding with intent.
“Something has to be done to educate the kids about the consequences of carrying a knife and stabbings – they don’t realise the damage it can cause.
“The message is simple – just don’t do it. I am speaking on behalf of mothers everywhere across Wiltshire.
"People who use a knife don’t realise how it’s not only the victim who is affected but also his whole family, his friends, with the worry and stress of it. Cameron’s little brother, who was only 12 at the time, really struggled with it all.”
Anyone handing in a knife or weapon during the amnesty is advised to check the opening times of their nearest bin by visiting the Wiltshire Police website or calling 101.
If you have information about someone who carries a knife or is involved knife crimes please call us on 101 or 999 in an emergency. Information can also be left anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.