Almost 600 knives and 5 firearms recovered from amnesty bins in Shefford

This week marks the start of Operation Sceptre - a national knife crime initiative

Monday, 15th November 2021, 12:56 pm
Updated Monday, 15th November 2021, 2:10 pm

Almost 600 weapons have been collected from just two amnesty bins in Shefford.

Bedfordshire Police emptied the bins ahead of Operation Sceptre this week - a national knife crime initiative that runs until Sunday, November 21.

Biggleswade Community Policing Team said: "It is safe to say that we were perhaps not expecting to have as many as we did! We have recovered and marked for destruction just shy of 600 bladed items between the two weapons bins.

PCSO Stephanie Lee emptying one of the Shefford amnesty bins

"This is along with five non viable firearms, which our armed response colleagues kindly came out and declared safe."

More than a thousand weapons were taken off Bedfordshire streets in the last Operation Sceptre week of action earlier this year, after being recovered from outdoor public spaces and a number of weapons bins throughout the county.

Local amnesty bins are located in Millennium Green by the youth hut in Shefford, and outside the Morrisons car park in Shefford.

These bins are there for you to anonymously dispose of any weapons or items of concern you may have.

Just a fraction of the recovered weapons

Operation Sceptre activities are due to take place across Bedfordshire, with police carrying out weapons sweeps, patrols and warrants to tackle knife crime, as well as emptying the county's other weapons bins.

But the force will also focus on prevention and raising awareness throughout the next seven days. Its dedicated Education and Diversion team is going in to schools to deliver talks on knife crime.

The force will be running a #KnifeFreeBedfordshire youth takeover on its social media accounts on Thursday and Friday (November 18 and 19), sharing content designed and made by young people from the Bedford Borough youth cabinet and Central Bedfordshire youth parliament.

This includes podcasts, Q&As with police officers and other professionals, as well as songs and poems written and performed by young people.

Police recovered almost 600 blades from the two bins

Adverts will also be running on platforms like Snapchat and YouTube throughout the week.

The force is also encouraging visitors to the ‘Blunt Blades’ art exhibit at The Higgins Bedford. This exhibit opened last week and uses knives seized by Bedfordshire Police.

Detective Chief Inspector Katie Dounias said: “Knife crime can have a devastating impact on our communities.

“It is vitally important that we do everything we can to stop this scourge on our streets. This includes so much more than just making arrests and running investigations into incidents.

“By working with groups like the Violence and Exploitation Reduction Unit, charities, schools, local councils and young people themselves, we can help raise awareness of this issue, encourage better choices and show people down a path to a brighter future.”

For more information about knife crime, including the location of the Bedfordshire Police knife bins and support services for those affected by knife crime, please visit the force’s knife crime pages.