Hemel Hempstead should have a permanent knife bin.
That’s the view of Billy’s Wish, a charity set up following the tragic death of Billy Dove in November 2011.
Katharine Harper, education officer at the charity, said she believes the move is necessary because of increasing reports of knife crime in the town, the second largest in Hertfordshire by population.
She said: “Most knife bins are in police stations and so we can be encouraged that knives are being surrendered despite a lot of people who would prefer them to be away from CCTV – to encourage people to give up their knives with reassurance there would be no repercussions.”
“The feedback we’ve had at Billy’s wish is that people are reluctant to travel to neighbouring towns to get to a knife bin – the further anyone has to travel with a knife, the greater the concern of being arrested for possession. Members of the public have also expressed concerns regarding the movement of knives.”
Katharine said the charity believes knife bins are extremely effective.
She commented: “There are other ways of getting rid of knives, but the publicity surrounding knife amnesties and knife bins does get knives out of circulation as well as opening up conversations about knives, encouraging people to realise that they can make a change and move away from that life. The rise in knives being surrendered suggests that this is increasingly the case.”
Katharine stressed to MyHemelNews knife bins are only a small part of the solution and stressed there is still a lot of work to do to deal with the growing national epidemic.
She said: “Knife bins alone are not the answer, in same way that stop and search is not the only answer. There are many and complex reasons for knife crime and knife ownership. The only way to combat the problem is with an integrated approach across multiple agencies, and with the general public not leaving it to the public services to solve it. We all have the potential to be part of the solution.”