Amnesty hits 5,000 mark

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MORE than 5,000 knives have now been handed in to police as part of a knife amnesty.

The year-long campaign was inspired by 18-year-old Holly Watson from Sudbury, whose brother Lewis was killed two years ago in a knife attack in East Street.

A total of 5,389 knives or bladed weapons have been deposited across Suffolk since the campaign was launched in December.

The objective of the amnesty is to take as many knives off the county’s streets as possible, with people encouraged to use permanent or mobile knife bins anonymously.

During August and September, 90 knives were binned at a mobile bin situated at Sudbury Police Station in Acton Lane.

Acting Sergeant Verity Pearson, from Sudbury and Great Cornard Safer Neighbourhood Team, said she was pleased to see so many knives being handed in.

“The campaign has had a very positive impact and there is an even split of weapons and kitchen knives being handed in,” she said.

“We are very encouraged by the numbers. The campaign gives people the opportunity to dispose of knives safely and that opportunity is being utilised.”

Since 23-year-old Lewis was killed in 2009, there has only been one other serious knife crime in Sudbury, when a man was stabbed in Gaol Lane in August.

However, Sergeant Pearson said this was one too many.

“We are still one of the safest towns in England but we recognise this is a problem,” she said.

The amnesty is due to end in December when all the deposited knives will be tipped into a metal shredder and recycled.