Eastwood police are calling on people to surrender their weapons on the last weekend of a knife amnesty being held in the lead up to Christmas.
Cops are encouraging people who carry a knife to rid of it in the ‘amnesty bin’ at Eastwood Police Station with no questions asked, before the end of Sunday, December 15.
The knife amnesty is part of a force-wide initiative, that has had bins in 17 stations county-wide since Monday.
Sgt Andy Browning said there had been 24 people injured with a knife in the Eastwood and Kimberley Advertiser since April this year, and police needed to do everything they could to stop people carrying them.
“People think there is a distinct difference between carrying a knife and using one. We disagree,” he said.
“If you are carrying a knife you are more likely to reach for it at the sign of trouble. This immediately intensifies the situation and the knife is then often used as an extension of the fist or even in a perceived sense of self-defence. The result is always the same – another person seriously injured or killed.
“Excuses such as ‘I need it for protection’, ‘I was carrying it for someone else’ or ‘I didn’t know’ are not acceptable and all will see you arrested,” he added.
One of the officers leading the knife amnesty, detective chief inspector Mick Luke, said officers were under no illusion the drive would abolish knife crime altogether, but said he wanted to give people the chance to change their behaviour for the better.
“We are not under any illusions that this amnesty is going to stop knife crime, but if we have just one knife handed in, then that’s potentially one life saved.
“This is really just a chance for us to help change behaviour.”
Since 2008 there have been 210 incidents of knife possession in South Nottinghamshire and 16 so far this financial year.
However, the force has detected 14 per cent more of these offences and as a result, 50 more people have been charged than this time last year.
County-wide knife crime has increased by 45 per cent compared to last year.
When dropping off your knives you must make sure they are covered or wrapped.
Further work will be done county-wide to cut down on knife crime until the end of the month.
The maximum penalty for an adult carrying an illegal knife is four years in prison and a fine of £5,000.
If you know someone who carries a knife contact Nottinghamshire Police on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.