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Last Updated: Monday, 3 July 2006, 14:38 GMT 15:38 UK
Amnesty nets thousands of knives
Over 4,500 knives and bladed weapons have been handed in to police forces in three counties in the East Midlands during a five-week knife amnesty.

Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire put up amnesty bins in several locations to encourage people to hand in knives anonymously.

Leics collected 1,170, Notts 1,937 and Lincs 1,448 knives including an army bayonet, a spear gun and razors.

All three police forces said the amnesty had been very successful.

Zero tolerance

Chief Inspector John Eyre, who was in charge of Nottinghamshire's campaign, said: "These weapons are now off the street and cannot be involved in criminal activity and that can only be a good thing."

He added that education programmes had been running alongside the amnesty, including a DVD called 'Knife City' being shown in schools and community centres.

Lincolnshire Police inspector Phil Clark added: "We are going to run a robust enforcement campaign to target people who have not listened to the amnesty message in the past five weeks.

"Any pointed, bladed, edged weapons cannot be carried on the streets of Lincolnshire."

A survey of all forces in England and Wales in late June showed almost 100 serious or fatal knife attacks during the five-week amnesty.

Nearly 18,000 weapons were handed in during the first week of the campaign - including an anti-tank rocket launcher, machetes, meat cleavers and axes.

The amnesty ran from 24 May to 30 June.

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