Hertfordshire Constabulary is joining police forces across the country by taking part in Operation Sceptre, the national knife amnesty.
The amnesty will run between Monday, September 16 and Sunday, September 22, during which time members of the public will be able to surrender any unwanted knives to the police anonymously and without fear of prosecution for possession of these items.
Hertfordshire has been taking part in the national knife amnesty for the last four years as part of a positive operational response to increases in knife crime across the country.
However, whilst knife related crime is lower in Hertfordshire than in other parts of the country, the amnesty is being carried out to help support the national campaign to reduce the number of knives in circulation.
During the amnesty, any knives in your possession that you do not want or should not have, can be surrendered at one of the following police stations: Hatfield, Stevenage or Watford.
There will also be temporary knife bins in locations around the county and there are permanent knife surrender bins in Waltham Cross, details of which can be found at herts.police.uk/amnesty.
Items can be surrendered anonymously during the amnesty in the knife bins provided, the locations and opening times of these stations can be found at herts.police.uk/stations.
Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire, David Lloyd, said: “Hertfordshire remains one of the safest counties in England and Wales.
“But there is always work to be done to educate the public, and young people in particular, that carrying a knife won’t keep you safe and won’t be tolerated.
“During the previous knife amnesty in March this year 680 knives, swords and bladed weapons were deposited in bins in Hertfordshire.
“The amnesty is just one strategy for tackling serious violence. It works alongside giving officers the power of stop and search, intelligence led operations and the work of our Gangs and Schools team.”
Chief Inspector Chris Treadwell, who is leading on the operational activity for Operation Sceptre, said: “We have had some successes in reducing knife crime over the past year, which is due in part, to our wider plans to reduce violent crime which includes supporting the Operation Sceptre knife amnesties.
“During the week of action we will also be conducting other operations to reduce knife-related crime, as well as using a poster campaign and social media to help raise awareness.
“The amnesty also provides an opportunity to educate young people about the dangers of carrying a knife and raise awareness amongst local businesses that selling certain knives to anyone under 18 is illegal.
“As part of a wider campaign officers will be carrying out knife detection operations, test purchasing at knife retailers and visiting schools to deliver talks on the dangers of carrying a knife.”
If you are concerned or have information about someone carrying knives or are aware of anyone involved in knife crime you can report this by calling the Hertfordshire Constabulary non-emergency number 101.
Alternatively, you can stay 100 per cent anonymous by contacting the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or via their untraceable online form at crimestoppers-uk.org.
If you would like further information on support services relating to knife crime contact Fearless.org