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Nottinghamshire Police Operation Sceptre amnesty bins lead to recovery of hundreds of weapons

A hugely successful roll out of amnesty bins at police stations has led to the recovery of hundreds of knives.

Nottinghamshire Police organised a range of different activities throughout the latest anti-knife crime campaign, Operation Sceptre, last week.

It also saw 13 separate amnesty bins set up inside police stations up and down the county.

Operation Sceptre has seen hundreds of weapons handed in to amnesty bins, and knife sweeps in hotspot areas.
Operation Sceptre has seen hundreds of weapons handed in to amnesty bins, and knife sweeps in hotspot areas.

Members of the public were given the opportunity to safely dispose of any unwanted knives in the bins without fear of being prosecuted.

This offer was taken up by hundreds of people from across Nottinghamshire, with 289 weapons found to have been binned at the end of the week.

As well as a combined 285 kitchen and lock knives, a bayonet, as well as an illegal flick knife, butterfly knife, and a knuckleduster were also recovered.

These weapon seizures came a week after the force’s four permanent amnesty bins, which are available all year-round, were also emptied for the first time in six months.

An extra 258 knives and other offensive weapons were found to have been disposed of at the drop off points at stations in Newark, Mansfield, Radford Road, and Oxclose Lane.

On top of the amnesty bin offering, officers conducted 25 knife sweeps at parks and other hotspot locations identified by the force’s different neighbourhood teams.

Multiple intelligence-led stop and searches and proactive arrests were also carried out, while a metal detecting knife arch was set up, which between them led to the seizure of ten more weapons.

As in previous years, education was an important theme of the latest Operation Sceptre, which forces across the country took part in from Monday, May 13, to Sunday, May 19.

Officers visited 53 schools and colleges across Nottinghamshire to speak to students about knife crime, with more than 2,800 young people benefiting as a result.

This education also extended to shop workers, with the force’s cadets, supported by the knife crime team, visiting 29 stores to carry out test purchase operations.

Of these, one store failed the test after selling a kitchen knife to a cadet. Appropriate follow up action will be taken against the shop, in line with Trading Standards.

Sceptre is just a snapshot of the work carried out all year-round to tackle knife crime across Nottinghamshire’s communities.

This has contributed to overall reported knife crime offences dropping by 2%, when comparing the year ending March 2024 with the year ending March 2023.

Chief Inspector Karl Thomas, Nottinghamshire Police’s knife crime lead, said: “I’d like to thank everyone who made use of our amnesty bin offering to safely dispose of their unwanted knives and offensive weapons.

“Anything we can do to take knives off our streets is a positive thing, so it was pleasing to see so many people feel comfortable enough to hand over these weapons at their local police station.

“We also have four knife amnesty bins that are available all year-round for the public to utilise without fear of reprisal, and again, it’s great to see that these have been used too.

“Sceptre provides all police forces with a great opportunity to shine a light on the dangers associated with knife crime, so that hopefully people never make that decision to carry a weapon.

“More than 2,800 children and young people were spoken to about this important topic by our officers during the latest week of action, which is undeniably a positive thing.

“A lot of work goes on between Nottinghamshire Police and our partners to tackle knife crime in our area, and Sceptre provides us with a good chance to offer a snapshot of some of this.”

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