Holly sees anti-knife campaign relaunched

BIN A BLADE: Radio presenter Mark Murphy, campaigner Holly Watson and chief constable Simon Ash with the repainted knife amnesty bins.
BIN A BLADE: Radio presenter Mark Murphy, campaigner Holly Watson and chief constable Simon Ash with the repainted knife amnesty bins.
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A knife amnesty inspired by a Sudbury teenager, whose brother was stabbed to death during an attack in her home town, has been relaunched.

Anti-knife campaigner Holly Watson, from First Avenue, began educating people about the dangers of carrying bladed weapons following the death of her brother Lewis.

The 23-year-old was fatally stabbed on the corner of East Street during a night out in September, 2009.

Throughout last year, a knife amnesty called Bin A Blade was run to encourage people to safely and anonymously dispose of knives at police stations across Suffolk.

The idea was spawned from Holly’s work and, with the support of the police, a total of 6,125 knives were binned.

On Monday, the amnesty was officially relaunched after permanent bins outside police stations in Bury St Edmunds, Ipswich, Mildenhall and Lowestoft were repainted bright yellow.

“I am really pleased with how the bins look and anyone going to one of the four police stations can’t miss them,” said 19-year-old Holly.

“I hope they will make people think more about binning knives and not carrying one in the first place.”

During her campaigning, Holly has drawn national recognition. In 2011, she was presented with the Rotary Young Citizen of the Year award and was invited to the Woman of the Year lunch.

Holly has also appeared in a short internet film in which she talks about the impact of losing her brother.

Chief Constable Simon Ash, from Suffolk Police, paid tribute to Holly’s endeavours and said he was delighted with the amnesty, which has seen 1,640 knives handed in this year.

“The number of knives handed in during 2011 was considerable, and I am pleased that people are still binning their blades in 2012,” said Mr Ash.

“While there continues to be no significant problem with knife crime in Suffolk, we still want to raise awareness of the consequences of carrying a knife.”

He added that a theatre production to help spread the message to young people was being planned for next year.

The majority of the knives binned as part of the amnesty have been recycled but a small number have been kept and are due to be turned into an award.

The Bin a Blade amnesty currently features in an exhibition at the V&A Museum of Childhood in London.

Holly’s website, idontcarryaknife.org, is also part of the exhibition, which runs until July.