Knife Amnesty Launches

17 July 2017, 09:15


North Wales Police is calling on people across the region to give up their potentially lethal weapons in a drive to educate people about the dangers of knives and focus on keeping North Wales a safe place leading up to the summer.

A week long knife amnesty campaign begins today. During this time people can bring their unwanted knives to many of the area’s police stations.

Inspector Julie Sheard from the North Wales Police Community Safety Department said, "Our focus will be on targeting those who habitually carry and use knives, tackling the supply and access to weapons, engagement with the public to increase awareness of the consequences of carrying knives and providing opportunities to surrender weapons."

On top of this, North Wales Police’ School Community Police Officers will be raising awareness of the consequences of carrying a knife in lessons across schools in North Wales. Special amnesty disposal bins will be placed in stations in Wrexham, Mold, Rhyl, Llandudno, Colwyn Bay, Bangor, Caernarfon and Holyhead. Here member of the public can hand in knives without fear of punishment.

Inspector Sheard added: “We take a robust approach to anyone found to be illegally in possession of a knife or bladed article on the streets and I would encourage you to take this opportunity to rid yourselves of any illegal weapons. Please ensure any sharp ends are securely wrapped in a protective material.”

To deposit knives and other sharp objects first wrap them in cardboard before taking them to the station.

North Wales Knife Amnesty in the Past

  • During the two-month knife amnesty on Anglesey in February 2009, 210 knives were handed in at police stations across the Island.
  • Back in 2006, North Wales Police took part in the first national knife amnesty which was launched by the Home Office, where over 1,700 knives were handed in at police stations across the force area.

The Law

  • It is illegal for any shop to sell a knife of any kind (including cutlery and kitchen knives) to anyone under the age of 18.
  • It is a crime to carry a knife in public without good reason – for example, if you work as a chef.
  • The maximum penalty for an adult carrying a knife is four years in prison and a fine of £5000.
  • It is illegal to carry, buy or sell any type of knife banned by the government.
  • Knives with folding blades, like Swiss Army knives, are not illegal as long as the blade is three inches long (7.62 cm) or less.
  • If any knife is used in a threatening way (even a legal knife, such as a Swiss Army knife), it is regarded as an 'offensive weapon' by the law.
  • Any sharp instrument – even a screwdriver – can be viewed by the police as an illegal offensive weapon if you do not have a good reason for carrying it.

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