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More than 4,000 bladed weapons off the streets in Bedfordshire this year

More than 4,000 bladed weapons off the streets in Bedfordshire this year

More than 4,000 knives and blades have been recovered in Bedfordshire so far this year in a bid to drive down knife crime in the county.

Last week’s Operation Sceptre, a national week of action aimed at reducing knife crime, gave Beds Police the chance to engage with local communities on reporting concerns and the consequences of carrying a knife.

Initiatives included weapons sweeps in public parks, high visibility patrols in areas most affected by knife crime, retailer engagement days and educational talks in schools.

Some of the knives recovered by Beds Police

People were also urged to ‘bin their blade’ and hand their weapons in to one of the force’s 11 weapons bins across the county.

The bins were emptied prior to the week of action, with 798 blades handed in. They were emptied again at the beginning of this week with a further 119 bladess surrended – a total of 4,118 knives and blades so far this year.

After being reviewed by officers to see if they have been used in any criminal acts, the weapons will be destroyed.

Recorded incidents of serious youth violence have reduced by 23% over the past three months compared to the previous three months. Recorded knife crime also fell to its lowest monthly level in three years in October.

The Bedfordshire Violence and Exploitation Reduction Unit has also invested more than £400,000 in 16 community projects to tackle knife crime.

Detective Chief Inspector Katie Dounias said: “Although we have seen a recent reduction in serious youth violence and knife crime, incidents like the tragic deaths of two men and a third left seriously injured in Houghton Regis earlier this month show there is still a lot of work to be done.

“However, we can’t do this alone, which is why we encourage the public to let us know if they suspect someone is carrying a knife, whether this is with the intention of using it or if they’re under the false impression that it will protect them. It won’t, and in fact, they are far more likely to become a victim themselves.”

Visit Bedfordshire Police’s website here for locations of county-wide weapons bins.

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