Knife collection bins and a programme of education events for young people and offenders will be rolled out across Lincolnshire this week.
It’s part of national Op Sceptre, a national campaign which takes place twice a year to keep offensive weapons out of communities.
So far this year, the Lincolnshire operation, Op Raptor, has marked 42 offences for possession of an offensive weapon, and a further 146 public order offences which intimated, referenced or involved an offensive weapon.
While Lincolnshire knife crime is said to be relatively low, the county is far from free of violent weapon-related crimes.
Notable recent cases include the brutal murder of 12-year-old Robert Buncis, at the hand of 15-year-old Marcel Grzeszcz.
He was found in Boston after being stabbed more than 70 times and suffered wounds consistent with an attempt to behead him.
During this week, there will be:
- Knife bins at the front desks of police stations in South Park in Lincoln, Boston, and Sleaford. Knives or other offensive weapons can be dropped off with no consequences, where they will be disposed of safely.
- School engagement to educated young people around the dangers and consequences of knife crime.
- Those identified as having carried knives in the past, or as potentially likely to in the future will be actively contacted and educated about the dangers and repercussions of knife crime by Neighbourhood Policing Teams.
- Mobile digital screen will be out in populated spots across the East of the county with educational knife crime messages.
Carrying an offensive weapon for self-protection is not a legal defence. You can face up to four years in prison and get a criminal record for carrying one. You don’t have to use it to be prosecuted.
Lincolnshire Police said in a statement: “Carrying a knife or other offensive weapon does not protect you. In fact, we know that carrying a knife or other weapon means you are more likely to be hospitalised with an injury caused by violence.
“There is no ‘safe place’ to stab someone – any stab can be fatal – and the consequences will be just as severe.
“We don’t want you or anyone else to be placed in a dangerous situation because you thought carrying a knife or other offensive weapon was a good idea. It’s not. Knives destroy lives, both yours and those you love.”