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Operation Sceptre: Growing Community Support Boosts Knife Amnesty
A church, a number of court buildings and a civic centre have joined Nottinghamshire Police and our existing partners to host amnesty bins during the latest national Operation Sceptre, which runs from Monday 16 September until midnight on Sunday 22 September.
It means there are 25 places across the county where people can deposit their unwanted knives – up from 15 at the last amnesty in March – making it even easier for people to stop weapons falling into the hands of criminals.
A total of 635 bladed weapons were handed in at the last amnesty, and Assistant Chief Constable Kate Meynell, of Nottinghamshire Police, said she hoped the growing support from the community would lead to more weapons being taken out of circulation.
“Knife amnesties are a chance for people across Nottinghamshire to play their own individual part in making their communities a safer place to live, work and visit by removing potentially dangerous weapons from the grasp of those who might use them to cause fear and harm,” she said.
“This will be the third amnesty we have held in 18 months and each time we have seen more weapons handed in and more support from external partners wanting to help us to make a difference. That is really encouraging because it shows more and more people are recognising that they can have an impact and that every weapon recovered has the potential to save lives.
“It is also pleasing that we now have so many amnesty bin locations that are in community locations, because we recognise that not everyone feels comfortable visiting police stations.”
The new partners include Mount Zion Apostolic Church in Radford, Nottingham Magistrates' Court, Nottingham Youth Court, Nottingham Tribunal Court, Mansfield Magistrates' Court and Newark & Sherwood District Council’s Castle House civic office in Newark.
The Queen’s Medical Centre and the Bridges Community Trust in The Meadows will again host an amnesty bin after joining the cause at the last amnesty.
Pastor Trevor Anderson, of Mount Zion Apostolic Church in Radford, explained why the church wanted to help the amnesty.
He said: “I’m a Nottingham lad and I have seen it change. We all need to do something about knife crime – we can’t just leave it up to the law enforcement. The community itself needs to get it over that it is not acceptable in the community and we need to do as much as we can to make our voices heard.
“If even one person hears the message it could keep them out of jail or keep them out of a 6ft hole in a box.”
John Lockson, Senior Employment Adviser at the Bridges Community Trust, said the trust wanted to do its part to help.
“We are a community-based organisation to benefit the community and getting knives off the street will help the community,” he said.
“We want to do what we can to reduce knife crime and give anyone who has got knives a safe place to go to where nobody knows why they are visiting - because they could just be coming for advice on other issues – it’s anonymous.”
As well as the amnesty, Nottinghamshire Police will also showcase the work it does to tackle knife crime all year round with a series of events during Operation Sceptre all next week.
This will include educational sessions on knife crime for schoolchildren, community weapons sweeps and proactive operations.
Paddy Tipping, Nottinghamshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, has been successfully lobbying for additional funding to tackle the scourge of knife crime.
He said today: “Every knife and sharp instrument that is handed in is off the streets and no longer a potential deadly weapon. But the police cannot tackle knife crime in isolation, enforcement alone will not succeed. I am grateful to see so many of our partners joining the multi-agency operations against knife related violence, working to make people aware that merely carrying a knife is highly dangerous and helping offenders to rehabilitate and move away from a life of violence and criminality.
“Help us to make our streets a safer place by using this opportunity to surrender these lethal bladed weapons and, if you know or suspect that someone carries a knife, please contact your local police or Crimestoppers.”
People can hand in their knives without fear of prosecution for doing so for the duration of the amnesty. They are advised to check the opening times of their nearest participating amnesty bin location before they visit. Anyone wishing to hand in an oversized item such as a sword should go to a participating police station rather than a partner agency site.
The participating stations and partner agency locations are as follows:
- Bridges Community Trust in the Bridgeway Centre, The Meadows.
- Broxtowe Shared Services (formerly Beeston police station).
- Broxtowe Police station (no front counter service but call the yellow phone outside for access to the amnesty bin).
- Bulwell police station (no front counter service but call the yellow phone outside for access to the amnesty bin).
- Byron House (Central Police station/Nottingham City Council).
- Carlton fire station.
- Gedling Borough Council Civic Centre in Arnold.
- Hucknall Police Station (no front counter service but call the yellow phone outside for access to the amnesty bin).
- Kirkby-in-Ashfield Partnership Hub.
- Mansfield Magistrates' Court.
- Mansfield police station.
- Mount Zion Apostolic Church in Radford.
- Newark police station.
- Newark & Sherwood District Council's Castle House, Newark.
- Nottingham Magistrates' Court.
- Nottingham Tribunals Court.
- Nottingham Youth Court.
- Ollerton police station (no front counter service but call the yellow phone outside for access to the amnesty bin).
- Oxclose Lane police station (no front counter service but call the yellow phone outside for access to the amnesty bin).
- Queen’s Medical Centre.
- Radford Road police station.
- Retford Shared Service (Retford police station).
- St Ann's police station (no front counter service but call the yellow phone outside for access to the amnesty bin).
- Rushcliffe Community Contact Centre (West Bridgford Police station).
- Worksop Police station (Shared service).
* Tell us your stories. If you are planning to hand in a knife during the amnesty and are happy to say why you are showing your support, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and write Op Sceptre in the email title.