A court building in Mansfield, and even a church, have been enlisted to help Nottinghamshire police with their latest knife-amnesty.
The amnesty, which invites people to deposit their unwanted knives without any questions being asked, runs from next Monday (September 16) to midnight on the following Sunday (September 22).
And the police have announced that there are now 25 places across the county, up from 15 at the last amnesty in March, that will house deposit bins as part of Operation Sceptre.
They will include for the first time Mansfield Magistrates’ Court on Rosemary Street and also Mount Zion Apostolic Church in Radford, Nottingham.
Other venues include Mansfield police station on Great Central Road, Ollerton police station on Forest Road, Kirkby Partnership Hub on Urban Road and the Queen’s Medical Centre hospital in Nottingham.
The idea behind the amnesty is that knives are taken off the streets, meaning they don’t fall into the hands of criminals.
A total of 635 bladed weapons were handed in at the last amnesty, and the county’s Assistant Chief Constable, Kaye Meynell, said she hoped the growing support shown by the new venues will lead to even more this time round.
She said: “Knife amnesties are a chance for people to play their part in making communities safer places to live, work and visit by removing potentially dangerous weapons from the grasp of those who might use them to cause fear and harm.
“This will be the third amnesty we have held in 18 months, and each time, we have seen more weapons handed in and more support from external partners wanting to help us to make a difference.
“That is really encouraging because it shows more and more people are recognising that they can have an impact and that every weapon recovered has the potential to save lives.
“It is also pleasing we now have so many amnesty-bin locations that are in community locations because we recognise that not everyone feels comfortable visiting police stations.”
As well as the amnesty, the police will be showcasing the work it does to tackle knife crime with a series of events throughout next week. These will include educational sessions with schoolchildren.
Paddy Tipping, Nottinghamshire’s police and crime commissioner, has been successfully lobbying for additional funding to tackle the scourge of knife crime.
He said: “Every knife and sharp instrument that is handed in is off the streets and no longer a potential deadly weapon.
“But the police cannot tackle knife crime in isolation. Enforcement alone will not succeed. Therefore, I am grateful to see so many of our partners joining the multi-agency operations against knife-related violence.
“They are working to make people aware that merely carrying a knife is highly dangerous, and they are also helping offenders to rehabilitate and move away from a life of violence and criminality.
“Help us to make our streets a safer place by using this opportunity to surrender these lethal bladed weapons and, if you know or suspect that someone carries a knife, please contact your local police or Crimestoppers.”