Knife bins and knife amnesty

Date: 17-05-2022

Knife bins and knife amnesty

Knife bins and knife amnesty

Last week (Monday 9 May) saw the start of a two-week knife amnesty across Essex, which coincides with the rollout of new knife bins at 14 sites across the county.

The knife bins now feature the artwork of three secondary school pupils who won our competition to design an anti-knife poster for display on the bins. The designs are below. 

  • Thurrock competition winner: Rachida (12yrs old), from Hathaway Academy, pictured top left with Patrick Green, CEO of Ben Kinsella Trust outside Grays Police Station. 
  • Southend competition winner: Dexter (11yrs old) from Eastwood Academy, pictured top right with Roger Hirst, PFCC for Essex outside Southend Police Station.
  • Essex competition winner: Bethany (13yrs old) from Cornelius Vermuyden School, pictured bottom (L-R) with Essex County Councillor Beverley Egan; Chief Constable BJ Harrington; Head of Art at Cornelius Vermuyden School Mark Standen and Inspector Cathy Calder, Castlepoint & Rochford Community Policing Team outside Canvey Police Station.

The knife amnesty allows anyone who wants to dispose of bladed weapons to do so safely and without fear of prosecution. The priority is for as many knives as possible to be taken off the streets of Essex.

These bins are just one element of the Violence and Vulnerability Partnership’s wider approach to tackling knife crime. Essex Police use other initiatives such as ‘hotspot’ policing, intelligence gathering, knife arches, and utilising additional powers such as dispersal orders and Section 60 powers, which are an extension of the stop-and-search activity which takes place every day.

The V&V Partnership also brings together partners to drive the multi-agency response, with a focus on early intervention, preventing and education. Helping to divert people who are involved in - or at risk of being involved in - knife and violent crime away from this lifestyle and into areas such as sports, education, volunteering, rehabilitation.

Roger Hirst, PFCC for Essex and Chair of the Essex Violence and Vulnerability Partnership said: “We know knife bins do a great job in taking thousands of knives off our Essex streets each year, but what is equally important is the role of education and information.

“Teaching our young people why you don’t need to carry a knife, why they should tell their friends not to carry a knife and why being knife free is the positive life choice to take. That’s why I’m delighted to be unveiling the new knife bins in Essex, the bins that young people themselves have designed. Young people who, like me, want their County to be a safe place to play, study, work and grow up in.”

As well as having their artwork featured on the knife bins the competition winners have also secured a class trip to the Ben Kinsella Trust “Choices and Consequences” exhibition. The exhibition highlights the dangers of knife crime, challenges attitudes to knife crime and debunks the myth that carrying a knife will protect you.

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