Dorset Police is asking members of the public to support the national week-long knife amnesty – Op Sceptre to help keep communities safe across the county.
From Monday 15 November to Sunday 21 November 2021, police are encouraging the public to ‘Bin a knife… to save a life’ and dispose of unwanted knives and blades at local recycling centres or securely packaged in household waste.
As part of the week of action, police will be running proactive operations and activity in targeted areas across Dorset. The force is also running education workshops in schools with the aim to educate young people about the effects of knife crime, help understand the law, and prevent them from carrying knives. Parents of young people involved in the workshops will also receive letters with information as a follow up to the workshops.
Data from the Office of National Statistics shows Dorset has one of the lowest knife crime rates (41.3 per 100,000) of all 43 police forces, and we hope to maintain this record.
This type of offence remains low across the county. During the week, police will also be reminding people about the changes in legislation which came into effect in July this year making it an offence to possess certain items, such as knuckledusters, throwing stars and zombie knives, even in private places – including people’s homes. The maximum penalty for an adult carrying a knife is four years in prison and an unlimited fine. If a person is convicted of carrying a knife more than once, then they will be given a prison sentence.
Guidance on basic laws on knives, banned knives and weapons and legitimate reasons for carrying a knife can be found on the Government’s website – www.gov.uk/buying-carrying-knives
Chief Superintendent Mark Callaghan from Dorset Police said: “Dorset is one of the safest places to live in the UK, and we know we do not have as much knife crime as seen in other areas of the country. However, we are not complacent, and we continue to be proactive to educate and prevent knife crime. Supporting national weeks of action is just one way of doing this.
“As a force we will not tolerate knife crime and aim to reduce the number of incidents involving knives across the county. Any knife taken out of circulation and off the street helps to prevent injuries and deaths.
“We are asking our communities to help support us during the week-long amnesty by disposing of unwanted knives at local recycling centres or safely packaged in waste bins.”
Police and Crime Commissioner for Dorset, David Sidwick, said: “Although Dorset is one of the safest places to live in the UK, there is no room for complacency when it comes to dealing with knife crime in our county.
“Keeping individuals and communities safe from knife crime is paramount and that is why I am pleased to see Dorset Police taking such proactive steps during this national week of action.
“I am particularly pleased to see education workshops happening in schools, educating younger people about the law and the effects of knife crime is incredibly important, if we are to stop young people from carrying knives and potentially ruining their lives and the lives of others.”