DEVON and Cornwall Police is launching a knife amnesty to encourage members of the public to dispose of knives to reduce the number in circulation that could become involved in criminality.

Devon and Cornwall is one of the safest areas to live in the UK and recent statistics from June 2022 show there was just 42 knife crime offences for every 100,000 resident population, placing the force 37 out of 43 police forces nationally.

However the force is determined to reduce this even further and is encouraging communities to keep each other safe by handing in their unwanted knives at designated amnesty bins.

These bins will be positioned at all 26 local police stations that have a public enquiry office from today, March 27 until Sunday, April 2.

The last knife amnesty in Devon and Cornwall, which ran for a week in November 2022, saw more than 100 knives and blades handed in to be destroyed.

While it is an offence to carry a weapon, Devon and Cornwall Police will not prosecute anyone who surrenders unwanted knives this week at designated locations.

Detective Superintendent Jonathan Bancroft, of Devon and Cornwall Police, said: “Out of 42 forces, Devon and Cornwall have one of the lowest rates of knife crime in the UK.

“However, we’re keen to do all we can to prevent knife crime wherever possible, therefore this surrender campaign alongside increased proactive policing, will help towards making the two counties the safest place in the country.”

The knife crime week of action coincides with a wider regional campaign to tackle drug dealing and supply.

Detective Superintendent Jonathan Bancroft continued: “We know there are direct links between drug dealing, knife crime and violence which is why it is so important for us to look at these issues together and do our best to tackle them head on.

“Those found to be carrying a knife could receive a prison sentence if convicted with the maximum penalty of four years in prison and an unlimited fine.”

To find out the location of your nearest enquiry office which has a knife amnesty bin, visit the force website at: .

Guidance on basic laws on knives, banned knives and weapons and legitimate reasons for carrying a knife can be found on the Government website: .