A knife surrender bin that was installed in Taunton in May earlier this year has already seen 13 bladed weapons surrendered and taken off the streets.
The bin, which is situated outside the police and council offices at Deane House on Belvedere Road, was installed by Avon and Somerset Police earlier this year as part of Operation Sceptre, a national knife crime awareness week.
Chief Inspector Mike Vass, Avon and Somerset Police 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 weapon surrender bins offer people a safe and anonymous way of getting rid of a weapon, helping us raise awareness and keep the streets of Taunton a safe place. Please, if you know someone who carries a weapon, we ask you to encourage them to surrender it.”
The bin will remain in place, encouraging more people to come forward and surrender any harmful objects whilst remaining completely anonymous. Alongside the installation of the bin, the local Somerset Violence Reduction Unit has been working with the police to educate young people in schools on the dangers of knife crime and carrying a knife.
Somerset remains a safe place to live and knife incidents are lower than other parts of the UK, however the prevention of spread of knife related crime is a priority for Somerset Violence Reduction Unit due to the serious harm and fear that impacts on effected communities. The Unit is a joint project operated by Somerset Council and Avon and Somerset Police to help reduce violence and exploitation across the county.
If you’re worried about someone you know carrying a knife, or knife crime within your community, you can report it to the police online, or by calling 101.
Alternatively, you can report 100% anonymously to CrimeStoppers online or by calling 0800 555 111. You will remain completely anonymous and will not be contacted by the police.
Read more on knife crime and see where Avon and Somerset Police’s knife bins are here.
To read more about what Somerset Council are doing to tackle knife crime, visit: Somerset and Knife Crime