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Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 June 2006, 05:22 GMT 06:22 UK
Knife offences on the rise in NI
Scene from government advert
The government is running a television advertising campaign
Knife killings in Northern Ireland have doubled since the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, a police analyst has said.

PSNI analytical director Mark Evans said in the last six months, there were more than three violent incidents involving knives every day.

A three-week knife amnesty began in Northern Ireland on 25 May with blades allowed to be dumped at designated bins in civic amenity sites.

Police are to put on display some of the weapons recovered so far.

Mr Evans, who leads a team of 90 advisers to the PSNI, said the number of murders involving knives during the Troubles was relatively low.

"There were lots of people killed as a result of other activity, but since the Troubles ended we have seen an increase in the number of knife-related murders," he said.

"It's probably twice as bad as it was during the Troubles."

The amnesty is part of a government and police campaign to cut knife crime, especially among boys aged between 11 and 18.

The Northern Ireland amnesty is running alongside a similar five-week campaign in other parts of the UK.

PSNI Detective Superintendent Alan Mains said the size of a knife did not matter in terms of its ability to cause serious injury or death.

"To cause a fatal wound can be as little as an inch to two inches of a blade," he said.

"Education is really the main thrust of this campaign... we have trained 46 community safety involvement officers... to deliver lessons to 11-18-year-olds - which unfortunately is our target audience."

Knife amnesty gets under way
25 May 06 |  Northern Ireland
National knife amnesty announced
08 Feb 06 |  Scotland

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