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Knife surrender bins set up in Cheshire

Police in Cheshire are hoping a week long operation will see more knives taken off the streets.

The county has one of the lowest rates of knife crime in the country, but has seen an increase in violent offending - which is part of a national trend.

As part of Operation Sceptre, knife surrender bins are being placed at police stations in Congleton and Crewe, for people to discard knives throughout the week.

Officers will be out on patrol using their stop and search powers to target those suspected of carrying a knife, taking part in knife sweeps, and visiting businesses who sell knives to offer advice.

They will also be visiting the homes of juvenile offenders, as well as going into schools to talk to pupils.

Superintendent Richard Rees said: “The importance of this message getting across to young people has been highlighted by the tragic events we have seen in the local and national media recently which is why we are visiting youth offenders and schools to try and drive home the dangers of knives.

"We will also be using our powers of stop and search where appropriate.

“Our officers will be working with shopkeepers to stop the sale of knives to under 18s as part of the initiative. The law is quite simple. If you carry a knife in public, without a reasonable excuse, you are facing a prison sentence.”

David Keane, police and crime commissioner for Cheshire, said: “We’ve seen the devastating impact knife crime can have on victims and their families up-and-down the country. There has also been a number of incidents in Cheshire where people have lost their lives or been seriously injured in vicious knife attacks.

“Across Cheshire, we’ve also seen an increase in the number of individuals who are stashing knives in public areas, in places like bushes and overgrown areas.

“I am working with Cheshire police to reduce the number of dangerous weapons on our streets.

"The message we need to send to our communities is that carrying a knife or concealing a knife is a crime and the use of dangerous weapons can quickly escalate a minor issue into something much more serious and potentially life threatening.”

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