Gloucestershire Police will be taking part in a national weapon surrender next week, with the aim of taking as many knives and other weapons off the streets as possible.
Known as Operation Sceptre, the two-week-long campaign will begin on Monday 8 November with a number of amnesty bins being placed at stations around the county.
The surrender will give the people of Gloucestershire a chance to dispose of any knife, weapon, firearm or ammunition by dropping it into a number of stations that will have dedicated amnesty bins. There are Seven stations where items can be handed, these are: Stroud, Bearland, Cirencester, Coleford, Hester’s Way, Dursley, and Stow.
Depositing anything in the bins will be kept anonymous, with no questions asked.
Additionally, Gloucestershire Constabulary have Schoolbeat officers who work with schools to deliver talks to young people about violent crime. These specialist officers will be reminding pupils of the risks of carrying knives during the campaign
Chief Inspector Carl Bourne said: “Tackling violent crime has always been a priority of our police force, but in recent months with the tragic deaths of Josh Hall and Matthew Boorman we understand the public are concerned about knife crime.
“This campaign is part of wider work we are doing with our communities to make the streets safer. Officers have been going into schools talking to young people about the dangers of carrying a weapon and the tragic effects knife crime cause.
“There are charities such as The Door, Young Gloucestershire and The Aston Project among other partners that officers work with to engage young people and communities and to educate them of the true dangers of knife crime.
“Many firearms and weapons in Gloucestershire are held in innocence and ignorance of their illegality or are simply just overlooked or forgotten in people’s homes.
“This campaign isn’t just targeted at people who are involved in criminal behaviour but also families and relatives who came across weapons – perhaps in a child’s bedroom, or while clearing out somebody’s home.
“The surrender will prevent weapons from doing damage or getting into the wrong hands while providing members of the community with a safe place to dispose of any knives or firearms they may have, whether held lawfully or unlawfully.”
Deputy Police and Crime Commission Nick Evan said: “We want people to be safe of the streets of Gloucestershire.
“Taking dangerous weapons out of circulation will go a long way to ensure that happens, but I’m pleased to see the Constabulary going further to tackle the causes of violent crime.
“By working with young people, alongside our schools and charities, we can educate them about the dangers of such crimes and create opportunities for prevention and early intervention to stop young people being drawn in to situations that escalate towards violence.
“This is the Public Health to Crime Prevention approach in action.”
Members of the public are advised to use a few sheets of newspaper or cardboard to wrap a knife ensuring that there is enough material to prevent it piercing through.
It should also be sealed with sticky tape to stop the knife being easily removed or falling out of the wrapping.
Firearms should be secured in a box or strong bag and any ammunition in a separate box or bag. Never attempt to take an uncovered weapon out in public.
Authorised firearms officers will be available to collect firearms for those who are unable to attend a police station.