Knife surrender launched as Knife Angel work continues

People in South Leeds can help to take potentially deadly weapons off the streets during a week-long knife surrender which starts next week.

The initiative comes as part of the ongoing knife crime intensification month tied to the Knife Angel’s continued residency in the city.

The 27ft tall sculpture, created from over 100,000 seized blades by the British Ironwork Centre, has been on show outside the Royal Armouries Museum since the start of February to highlight the negative effects of violent behaviour and the need for change.

Running alongside has been a comprehensive programme of activity, led by the community safety partnership Safer Leeds and supported by the West Yorkshire Violence Reduction Partnership, to engage and educate young people as part of the city’s continued response to serious youth violence.

From Monday 26 February until Sunday 3 March 2024 knives can be surrendered to the public helpdesk at Leeds District Headquarters, in Elland Road. The helpdesk is open 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday and 10am to 6pm Saturday and Sunday.

The scheme is anonymous and there is no requirement for those surrendering knives to give their details.

At the same time, Leeds District has been piloting a new approach by the Force’s Contact Management Centre to reports of bladed weapons being found by members of the public in local communities.

The project aims to help keep communities safe by removing weapons that may have been discarded in public places or hidden for later use by street gangs.

Under the initiative, all calls relating to knives being found by members of the public are logged and assessed to see if the weapon is linked to crime or has evidential value, such as blood staining, with an officer then deployed to recover the weapon.

Any other knives reported being found are also being recovered and photographed by officers before being sent for destruction.

In January, the pilot saw 40 knives recovered in Leeds, compared to just 13 in the comparison month of November before the pilot came in.

Chief Inspector Lucy Leadbeater, Leeds District Partnerships, said:

“The knife surrender is a great opportunity for people to help reduce the number of bladed weapons that are out there in our communities, particularly some of the most dangerous weapons such as machetes and zombie knives.

“We recognise that the surrender is unlikely to attract those weapons that are already in criminal hands but even taking a few knives out of circulation can only be a good thing in terms of reducing the risks.

“It’s a chance for concerned parents or those in youth groups who may have come across a knife to dispose of it safely with no questions asked.

“The work we have been doing under the Contact Management Centre pilot has also seen an increase in knives being recovered, which again reduces the risk and helps to make our communities safer.

“The intensification month based around the Knife Angel’s residency in the city is currently ongoing with some really positive work in terms of education and awareness with schools and young people and this week-long surrender should provide some positive support to those aims.”

To report or pass on information about knife crime anonymously, visit https://crimestoppers-uk.org/fearless 

 

This post is based on a press release issued by West Yorkshire Police

Photo: The Knife Angel, created from over 100,000 seized blades by the British Ironwork Centre, has been on show outside the Royal Armouries Museum since the start of February to highlight the negative effects of violent behaviour and the need for change

 

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One Reply to “Knife surrender launched as Knife Angel work continues”

  1. I have been suggesting a month’s amnesty for ALL weapons for a long time, with automatic jail time for anyone found with one after that.
    It was never rocket science
    Why has it taken so long for the police to think of this?

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