WILTSHIRE Police’s two-week knife amnesty is set to close on Friday, November 26.

Operation Sceptre, part of a national scheme to tackle knife crime, encouraged people to hand in their unwanted and illegal knives without fear from prosecution and has run throughout November.

Bins to collect the blades were put in 13 locations across the county including Melksham police station and St Andrew’s Church, St James’ Church in Trowbridge and Monkton Park in Chippenham.

Wiltshire PCC Philip Wilkinson said: “Whilst our officers are doing great work to get knives off the streets in Wiltshire, more needs to be done to make sure people feel safe in their communities.

“It’s ultimately through the work of our early intervention teams that we’ll be able to effectively deal with knife crime. Knife crime not only ruins the lives of victims and their families but also of the perpetrators, who, in the majority of cases, are young.

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“The Police and law enforcement agencies have their part to play in stopping knife crime but my office and other bodies have to intervene earlier where necessary, to make sure that we’re providing positive alternatives and opportunities to those who are at risk and vulnerable to being targeted and drawn in.”

Church steward Beryl Morris has been on duty at St James’s Church and has encouraged people to deposit unwanted knives into the red bin.

She told the Times: “ I am pleased it has been used by an ex-service man who wanted to deposit a type of jungle knife that he had in his shed, so it could not be stolen and get in the wrong hands.”

Inspector David Tippetts from Wiltshire Police said: “Op Sceptre – our knife crime awareness campaign and amnesty – has so far been successful in as much as we have had more than one hundred knives and blades handed in.  We will be able to update you with the final total next week.

“We have also been engaging with schools around the county and speaking with pupils, educating them about the dangers of knives.

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“Young people are more likely to be involved in the illegal use and carrying of knives, so reaching them as early as possible is one way of trying to prevent this terrible crime.

“If we can remove at least one knife off our streets or stop at least one stabbing then the likes of Op Sceptre is helping us move in a positive direction.”