Knife amnesty: 182 weapons taken off streets

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A crackdown on knife crime has seen almost 200 weapons taken off Hailsham’s streets.

Sussex Police launched the knife amnesty in two pronged initiative to rid the market town of bladed weapons.

The scheme aimed to both educate young people about the dangers of knife crime and get the weapons out of the hands of potential attackers.

Four Samurai swords, 145 chef’s knives and even specialst weapons were among items left at the police station, or dropped into bins and council offices in the two week amnesty which endedon Monday.

A knife amnesty in Wealden has been hailed a success with a total of 182 knives being handed in.

The two week amnesty which ran from October 1 offering people the chance to hand over any knives. There were three bins at Hailsham Police Station, Wealden District Council offices and Hailsham Town Council office.

When the bins included 89 home/kitchen knives, 56 larger chef type types and seven specialist weapons including four Samurai swords. There was also an assortment of lock and craft knives, sheath knives, scissors and large barbecue forks.

Wealden District Commander Chief Inspector Dick Coates said: “This amnesty has proved extremely productive in Hailsham, and has given members of the public a chance to dispose of knives that they no longer need. “However we have used the last two weeks working alongside our partner agencies to deliver a strong message that we will not tolerate any knife crime in our towns. Alongside the amnesty we have also been delivering education to school pupils with the support of Hailsham Community College.”

Sergeant Howard Nevill said: “I am extremely grateful to all of our partners that have come together to support this amnesty. The first week from 24 September was all about education. The last two weeks have given people an opportunity to discard any knives they have in a safe and secure way.“This week we have begun a period of enforcement. During this time there will be a series of operations to target any individuals from information that we have received through the campaign to reinforce the message that the police and this community do not want knives to be carried for use in crime. Crimestoppers, under their youth brand Fearless, fully supports this campaign, and any information can be passed anonymously to them on 0800 555111 or direct to Hailsham police on 101.”