We launched a knife amnesty across Derbyshire on Monday, May 23, to help reduce the risk of weapons falling into the wrong hands.
The six-week event runs until July 3 and during this time, people can deposit knives at secure bins throughout the county.
All surrendered knives will go to the Save a Life Surrender Your Knife project - a scheme run by the British Ironworks Centre to raise awareness of knife crime. The centre is creating an angel sculpture from knives surrendered across the UK.
The amnesty is part of Project Zao, a successful campaign launched in Derby in March to reduce knife crime in the city, which has now been rolled out countywide.
During the campaign, officers will give talks to schoolchildren about the consequences of carrying knives and work with traders to enforce the message that knives, razors and similar products will not be sold to under-18s.
Surrender Your Knife
Assistance Chief Constable Bill McWilliam said: “Every knife handed in is one less that can potentially be used on the streets of Derbyshire.
“Young people might think that having a knife is some kind of status symbol, or that they need one for protection, but they don’t realise that in 65% of cases, people who carry knives have those weapons used against them.
“Just carrying a knife can result in a prison sentence of up to four years. If you know a friend or family member who carries a knife, urge them to surrender it as part of the amnesty or contact us or Crimestoppers. Please don’t stay silent.”
There are 13 knife amnesty bins in the county at which you can safely deposit your knife. The bins are situated outside the stations.
- Derby Market Place
- St Mary’s Wharf Police Station, Prime Parkway, Chester Green
- Cotton Lane Police Station, Derby
- Peartree Police Station, Peartree Road, Derby
- Ilkeston Police Station, Heanor Road
- Long Eaton Police Station, Midland Street
- Swadlincote Police Station, Civic Way
- Chesterfield Police Station, New Beetwell Street
- Clay Cross Police Station, Pilsley Road
- Ripley Police Station, Wyatt’s Way
- Buxton Market Place
- Glossop, Victoria Street junction with Collier Street
- Matlock, outside Derbyshire Dales District Council, Imperial Road
How to 'Surrender Your Knife' safely
Ensure the blade is wrapped before depositing it in an amnesty bin, using cardboard, bubble wrap or something similar.
Any knives or blades too large to fit in the bins can be handed in at inquiry offices at St Mary’s Wharf, Chesterfield and Buxton police stations.
Rachel Webb's support
The amnesty is being supported by Rachel Webb, whose son, Tom Webb (22), was fatally stabbed in Derby city centre in January. A 16-year-old boy has been charged with his murder.
Rachel said: “I think the knife amnesty is an incredible idea. It’s raising awareness of a horrendous situation we have in society at the moment where people feel it’s alright to carry knives with them.
“My message to young people who are choosing to carry a knife is to stop and think about it and decide what sort of person you want to be in life.
“Carrying a knife for whatever reason is one of those choices in life that you have to make and it’s never a good idea.”
Rachel urged parents to talk to their children if they believe they are carrying a knife. She added: “With children up to the age of 16, who knows where they are and who they are talking to on the internet. It’s really hard to keep connections with teenagers but it is important and if, as a parent, you are worried, I would really advocate speaking to your teenager.
“Teenagers are, by nature, secretive. It’s forging relationships with your kids and pushing through and being quite open and honest with your worries and your fears. If you believe your child is carrying a knife then there is a need for you to get involved, be proactive and sit down and speak to them.”
Rachel has recently visited the British Ironworks Centre with Tom’s girlfriend, Roxy Gardiner, to inscribe knives in his memory which will then form part of the angel sculpture.
She said: “A few weeks ago, Roxy and I were invited to go to the British Ironworks Centre and the sculpture they are doing is a 20ft angel made completely of knives handed in during amnesties.
“It’s incredible and it was profound and breath-taking. Suddenly, I didn’t feel alone. We were allowed to engrave my son’s name on one of the knives and it will be put in the left wing of the angel and it is stunningly beautiful and stunningly grotesque in equal measure.”
Derby County's support
Our knife amnesty is also being supported by Derby County, with Will Hughes talking to us about his thoughts on carrying knives, and why he supports our campaign:
The latest photographs from Project Zao.
Hundreds of Erewash and South Derbyshire school children to hear about the dangers of carrying a knife
- Over 200 Erewash and South Derbyshire school children are to attend knife crime summits being held over the next two days to hear about the dangers of carrying a knife.
Knife Amnesty on Twitter
See Tweets about the knife amnesty in this bitesize widget.