DO YOU know how to safely get rid of an old kitchen knife?
That’s the question from Dyfed-Powys Police during a national week of action to tackle knife crime.
The campaign, known as Operation Sceptre, runs from today (Monday, November 9) until Sunday (November 15) and aims to keep knives and blades out of circulation, while also increasing awareness about the dangers of carrying knives.
During the week, people are being encouraged to leave unwanted knives in amnesty bins at police stations across Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Powys
The force also wants people to know how to safely dispose of knives and blades outside of the amnesty period, and to urge anyone involved in a household clearance, or those who would consider leaving knives at a charity shop, to instead bring them to a recycling centre for safe disposal.
Inspector Andrew Williams, said: “Dyfed-Powys remains a safe place to live, work and visit, and thankfully we don’t face the level of knife crime other areas see.
“For this campaign we are changing our approach to focus on keeping knives that could travel to other areas, out of criminal hands.
“It can be difficult to know the right thing to do with an old knife when you buy a new set, or inherit them from a relative.
“We want anyone involved in household clearances, people with elderly relatives, and charity shops, to know they can take unwanted or donated knives to the tip.”
The force is also encouraging a common sense approach to selling knives and blades, after credit card blades were handed in to them during a previous amnesty.
When officers visited a store in Haverfordwest, they were presented with a box containing 42 black plastic items around the size of a credit card.
On opening the card, a hidden blade was revealed which could lock in place.
Knives with a lockable blade are illegal to carry, so officers took the items away to be destroyed.
Insp Williams said: “Many types of blades are legal to sell, but have a questionable purpose.
“We will be working with retailers to discuss the law, and what is sensible.
“We will also be working with schools, colleges and youth clubs to reinforce the message about the dangers of carrying knives among young people.
“Carrying a knife is a crime which brings that added risk that a minor issue can escalate into something much more serious and potentially life changing.
“The damage caused by knives, not just to the victim and their families, but also to the wider community, can be devastating.
“We will be doing all we can to keep knives out of the wrong hands.
“While Dyfed-Powys has not experienced the high volume of knife-related incidents seen in other forces, we are supporting our police colleagues nationally by taking part in Operation Sceptre.
“Our force has a lower rate of knife crime than the national average – in the year ending March 2018, there were 31 crimes involving knives per 100,000 of the population in Dyfed-Powys.
“Across Wales, this figure stands at 37, and nationally there were 69 knife crimes per 100,000 people during the same period.”
Stations taking part:
Llanelli Police Station
Carmarthen Police Station
Ammanford Police Station
Haverfordwest Police Station
Pembroke Dock Station
Aberystwyth Police Station
Cardigan Police Station
Brecon Police Station
Newtown Police Station
Llandrindod Wells Police Station
For more information on the types of knives permitted for work, banned blades, advice for young people and how to talk to children about staying safe, visit https://www.dyfed-powys.police.uk/en/newsroom/campaigns/op-sceptre-2020/
To find your nearest recycling centre, visit your local council’s website:
Carmarthenshire County Council: https://www.carmarthenshire.gov.wales
Ceredigion County Council: https://www.ceredigion.gov.uk/
Pembrokeshire County Council: https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/
Powys County Council: https://www.powys.gov.uk/