News article

Over 400 knives off the streets

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Excellent public response to knife amnesty

404 knives and other bladed items were handed in to police during the knife amnesty held in Devon and Cornwall in four days from 18 - 21 September.

Devon & Cornwall Police supported the amnesty as part of the ongoing Home Office national knife crime reduction initiative, Operation Sceptre.

The last amnesty, across seven days in February of this year, gathered in 390 items.

Superintendent Matt Lawler, Commander of the Exeter, East and Mid Devon policing area, said:

“We are pleased with the results, which are consistent with the number of items handed in during previous amnesties.

“One story that emerged was that of a mother who anonymously brought a lock knife into our Exeter police enquiry office. She explained that she had removed it from her son’s bedroom as she was concerned that he was carrying it.

“As we have previously warned, it is often those that carry knives who end up injured by them if a confrontation takes place. This is therefore exactly the sort of reason why the knife amnesty was held in Devon and Cornwall, as part of our ongoing local approach to focussing upon prevention. Any knife taken out of circulation and off the street helps to prevent injuries and deaths.”          

Lock knives are not classed as folding knives and are illegal to carry in public without good reason.

You can read current government advice and legislation on selling, buying and carrying knives here:

A large variety of items were handed in including hunting knives, samurai-style swords, rapiers and sword sticks, along with an assortment of kitchen knives and cleavers and a starting pistol.

All will now be destroyed.

Supt. Lawler concluded: “No good can come from carrying a knife. For your own safety and that of others, get rid of it.”

Outside of amnesty periods, people with unwanted knives such as domestic kitchen blades can dispose of them in household waste as long as they are packaged securely so as to avoid handling injuries. Or they can be deposited along with other bladed items in the metal recycling skip at local reclamation facilities.

If anyone has any queries over bladed items or firearms and how to dispose of them, or is concerned about transporting them, please drop into one of our police enquiry offices, the locations and opening times of which can be found here:

Alternatively you can contact your local policing team here or email or have a WebChat with one of our contact centre staff. You’ll see the WebChat widget at the corner of our website home page

Our photos show some of the items surrendered at the police enquiry offices in Torquay, Charles Cross and Crownhill in Plymouth, Exeter, Camborne and Bodmin. All items collected are then placed into metal drums and destroyed by the force waste contractor, Mitie, as also shown.


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