Avon and Somerset Police installed two new weapon surrender bins in Bristol today, in a bid to encourage people to safely discard of any knives and weapons they are carrying and prevent street-based knife crime.
One has been installed in Castle Park in the city centre, and the other outside The Park Centre in Knowle.
These locations were chosen following requests from the community. The bins have been funded by Avon and Somerset Police, following feedback that current surrender bins, which are all installed outside police stations or shared police premises were inaccessible for some people.
The police service already has 13 weapon surrender bins currently installed, all of which are attached to police stations or shared police sites and local authority buildings. Since 2016, there have been over 4,000 knives and weapons surrendered through the existing bins.
This work is part of Avon and Somerset Police’s ongoing commitment to tackling knife crime across the area, which includes engaging with local schools and educating young people in communities about the dangers of carrying a knife, organised weapon sweeps, and working with retailers to prevent knives being sold to under 18s. In partnership with the NHS, the police will also be rolling out bleed kits, which contain items including bandages and tourniquets, right across the Avon and Somerset area.
Chief Inspector Mike Vass, Avon and Somerset Police’s Lead for knife crime said, “We want to do everything we can to encourage people to safely discard of any weapons or knives they may be carrying so we can prevent street-based knife crime. Knife crime ruins lives. We want to spread the message that it is not ‘normal’ or safe to be carrying a knife. These new weapon surrender bins, in areas we know they are needed, offer people a safe and anonymous way of getting rid of a weapon. Please, if you know someone who carries a weapon, we ask you to encourage them to surrender it.”
“The current data is encouraging – we’ve seen a reduction in street-based knife crime across Avon and Somerset of 22 per cent with 109 fewer offences in 2022, compared to 2021. For possession offences, although we saw a small increase of 4.2 per cent in 2022 compared to 2021, we are seeing a substantial slowing in the rate of these compared to previous years. We are pleased to see this reduction, but we want to do more. We hope that these new weapon surrender bins will go some way to helping prevent future incidents from happening.”
Avon and Somerset Police are encouraging communities who are fearful of knife crime in their area to get in touch if they feel they could benefit from a weapon surrender bin in their local area. For more information and a list of all the weapon surrender bins in the area please visit www.avonandsomerset.police.uk/knifecrime
To contact your local neighbourhood teams if you wish to request a surrender bin in your community, visit: Your area | Avon and Somerset Police to find your local team.