'We need to dispel myth knives are somehow cool' - knives surrendered at drop-off point

PUBLISHED: 07:00 05 May 2017

A knife sold to an underage teenager in North Somerset.

A knife sold to an underage teenager in North Somerset.

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Knives are being handed in to police at a drop-off point in Weston-super-Mare to try to reduce crime.

There has been a 23.6 per cent rise in knife crime across the Avon and Somerset area in the past 12 months, which is higher than the national average of 15.2 per cent.

Police are inviting people to surrender knives at the Information Station in St Andrews Parade on the Bournville estate.

Chief Inspector Zoe Chegwyn, force lead on knife crime, said: “Worryingly, nearly 15 per cent of people found carrying knives or involved in knife crime, are aged 17 and under, and 18 per cent are aged 18-24.”

Police cadets have gone to shops in North Somerset to see if they sell knives to anyone under 18. Across the force area, 22 shops out of 29 passed the test.

Chief Inspector Chegwyn added: “We also have a wider, ongoing project with schools where we deliver hard hitting workshops which really bring home the impact knives can have not just on individuals, but on families and communities.

“We need to understand why young people are carrying knives and work to dispel the myth that knives are somehow cool.”

Operation Sceptre also involves educating retailers about their responsibility not to sell knives to those under the age of 18.

Youngsters are also being warned of the consequences of carrying knives.

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