Nottinghamshire Police praise public’s support after amnesty removes hundreds of weapons from streets
More than 200 weapons, including two firearms, were handed in by members of the public during a successful two-week amnesty held by Nottinghamshire Police.
To help keep people safe, the force allowed anyone to safely dispose of knives and other banned weapons without the fear of being punished.
The amnesty was held following the introduction of new legislation under The Offensive Weapons Act 2019, meaning it is now illegal to have certain types of knives and other items even at home in private, as well as it being an offence to carry them in public.
Some of the weapons recovered during the amnesty included those now covered by the new laws such as zombie knives, swords, flick knives, throwing stars and a knuckleduster.
Of the 244 weapons deposited in 11 amnesty bins across the force area, 158 were kitchen knives.
Others included hunting knives, machetes, daggers, lock knives, truncheons, a crowbar, hand axe and steel bar. Two starting pistols were also handed in.
The amnesty was supported by Nottinghamshire’s Violence Reduction Unit, which helps steer young people away from knife crime and violence by working with vulnerable individuals and families to help understand the root causes of violent crime.
Superintendent Kathryn Craner, Nottinghamshire Police’s knife crime lead, said: “We are delighted with the number of knives that were safely deposited and taken out of harm’s way.
“Any knife or weapon which is handed in is one less on our streets and I would like to thank members of the public who disposed of weapons and who continue to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with us as we strive to drive down knife crime and weapon-enabled violence in our communities.
“It is fantastic to have removed so many weapons from circulation, many of which would have had the potential to cause lethal harm in the wrong hands.
“This positive response from the public shows that people are realising that possessing knives, both in public and private, is unacceptable and they understand the potentially devastating consequences that knife and weapon-enabled crime can have on their own lives and other people’s lives.”
Sergeant Adam Brown, from the force’s operation Reacher team, organised the weapons amnesty.
He said: “The success of this initiative is testament to our communities and their commitment to helping us make Nottinghamshire a safer place.
“It is a clear sign of support from the public in our ongoing drive to take dangerous weapons off the streets. The support of the community is absolutely vital in tackling this issue and I am very grateful for everyone’s help in supporting the amnesty.”
Supt Craner added: “Weapons amnesties are only one part of our relentless work going on all year round to keep people safe and tackle knife crime.
“Our two dedicated knife crime teams are working tirelessly day in and day out to combat this issue and our schools and early intervention officers continue to positively engage with schools and young people across the county to help nip knife crime in the bud by delivering education and interventions steering them away from crime and encouraging them to make positive life choices.
“We understand the horrifying impact knife crime can have and that is why the force remains totally committed to preventing crime before it happens, investigating reports, supporting victims and doing everything in its power to bring offenders to justice and protect the public.
“The force will continue to relentlessly pursue those who choose to arm themselves and commit crime in Nottinghamshire and we want to make it very clear the possession and use of knives and other weapons on our streets will not be tolerated.”
The amnesty was held between August 16-29.
The latest national figures show that knife crime in Nottinghamshire fell by 15% in the last financial year and offences of violence with injury also plummeted by a quarter.
To find out more about the changes to the Offensive Weapons Act legislation, search ‘Offensive Weapons Act 2019’ online.