South Yorkshire Police Start A Knife Crime Campaign
20 July 2017, 07:28
It will run from now until the end of September.
As part of that, a knife surrender is starting on Thursday July 20th and will last for 11 days, until the end of July.
There's been an increase in knife crime over the last year, and police say it's mostly down to men fighting. Young men in particular.
They're now warning that anyone caught with a knife - could be jailed for 4 years - just for possession.
They're using #droptheknife to raise awareness.
Detective Superintendent Una Jennings, Force lead for Armed Criminality, said: "The aim of this campaign is to raise awareness of the grave and serious consequences that carrying a knife can have, whether it's carried for 'protection' or 'status', the fact remains you have a lethal and dangerous weapon in your possession.
"Do you carry a knife, or does someone close to you carry one? Please consider the life changing impact it could have on yourself or on your loved one, and take the opportunity to safely dispose of the weapon during our surrender.
"I would also urge anyone who may be in possession of knives or bladed weapons, such as daggers, swords, axes, that may have been passed down as family heirlooms and are no longer wanted, to please also make use of the surrender and hand them in, to prevent them from falling into the wrong hands and being used in criminality."
The knife surrender lets people anonymously hand in any bladed weapon at one of 4 police stations across South Yorkshire and be exempt from prosecution for possession of the weapon the time of handing it in.
However all the weapons surrendered will be forensically examined, and if there are any indications they may have been used criminally, an investigation will start with the potential for prosecutions.
In Sheffield, a multi-agency operation, has been running for the last two weeks in the Burngreave, Spital Hill and Pitsmoor area of the city.
Dedicated officers have proactively been collating information, executing warrants and conducting open land searches, resulting in the recovery of various weapons and making 12 arrests; four for possession of offensive weapons and bladed articles and eight for drugs related offences.
And there have been knife arches at certain venues across Sheffield in the evenings, an increased police presence and test purchase operations in bars and shops.
There will be knife bins located at four police station enquiry desks across the county from today for people to hand in any knives or bladed weapons.
They are Snig Hill in Sheffield, College Road in Doncaster, Churchfield in Barnsley and Main Street in Rotherham.