A week-long knife surrender aimed at reducing crime and the number of families affected by knife-crime is to take place next week.
Operation Spectre, a Home Office supported national campaign which encourages people to think twice before carrying a knife, will see licensed premises across the region being issued with knife-detection wands by North Wales Police.
Starting from Monday 12th February, police will be in close contact with all the licensed premises and anybody found to be in possession of a knife will be detained and reported to the police.
During the last national surrender, which was held back in November 2017, a total of 428 knives were handed in at police stations across North Wales. The previous amnesty, held in July 2017 saw 380 items being handed in.
Sergeant Tecwyn Green, Co-ordinator for the campaign on behalf of North Wales Police said: “Carrying knives is totally and utterly unacceptable and we hope that introducing these wands will not only act as a deterrent, but they’ll also reassure people who are planning an enjoyable night out.
“All licensed premises that are being given these wands have been extremely positive and are pleased to play their part in the national campaign.
“These venues rarely have issues relating to knife crime, yet they fully understand the importance of having a preventative initiative such as this one in place.
“Historically, North Wales Police and its partners have previously provided amnesty bins, provided advice and guidance to schools and carried out test purchase operations with local authority colleagues at knife retailers.
“We are now extending our support to the late night economy by providing detector wands at prominent late night venues, emphasising on deterrent, reassuring the public and keeping our late night economy safe and welcoming.
“Knives are dangerous and there is no place for them on the streets of North Wales. Using a knife can have devastating consequences, as we have seen over the recent year, and I hope that by constantly stressing the dangers of knife crime we are getting the message across, particularly to our young people.
“I would urge people to educate themselves, speak to their children and family members and prevent the repeat of any such tragedies.”
During the campaign people can also hand in their unwanted knives in special amnesty disposal bins which will be placed in police stations in Wrexham, Mold, Rhyl, Llandudno, Colwyn Bay, Bangor, Caernarfon and Holyhead.
Police say that here, members of the public can hand in knives without fear of punishment.
Sgt Green added: “We take a robust approach to anyone found to be illegally in possession of a knife or bladed article on the streets and I would encourage you to take this opportunity to rid yourselves of any illegal weapons by taking them to any of the named stations.
“Please ensure any sharp ends are securely wrapped in a protective material.
“We are grateful for the support of the licensed premises, the community and our partners with this campaign and together, we will continue to work towards removing knives and dangerous weapons and bring those responsible, for carrying and using them, to justice.”
North Wales Police will act on all information reported regarding knife crime. Anyone with information can call North Wales Police on 101, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
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