KNIVES will be handed in to police across East Lancashire when an amnesty is launched on Monday.
Amnesty bins will be available at the police stations in Burnley, Greenbank in Blackburn and Colne as the force looks to remove knives from the streets.
Figures released by the police yesterday showed there had been 74 knife-related incidents across the Pennine and Eastern divisions already this year, and 243 throughout the whole of last year.
Last week, Nicholas Warren was stabbed at his home in Deardengate Croft, Haslingden, after armed intruders burst into his home.
And in July, a 26-year-old man was left with a punctured kidney after being stabbed in an argument at a barbecue in Blackburn, while Accrington barman Joseph Allen was stabbed after being dragged down an alley close to his home in Wellington Street.
From Monday and for the next five weeks, anyone will be able to anonymously dispose of a weapon, whether it belongs to them, a friend or a relative.
Assistant Chief Constable Mark Bates said: “Carrying a knife in public will not be tolerated and the consequences of doing so are potentially devastating.
“We do not have a massive problem with knife crime in Lancashire, but a knife is a lethal weapon and even one on Lancashire’s streets is one too many. This amnesty has been launched to proactively remove those weapons from our communities, and help to keep everyone safe.
“If anyone is in possession of a knife and is unsure what to do about it, I would urge them to take this opportunity to dispose of it anonymously and safely.
“Please use the next five weeks to hand over your weapons without fear of prosecution, and don’t run the risk of ending up with a criminal record, a life-changing or potentially fatal injury.”
The maximum penalty for an adult found in possession of a knife is four years in prison and a fine of £5,000.
The amnesty bins will be accessible 24-hours a day and have been funded by Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw using money seized from criminals through the Proceeds of Crime Act.
Mr Grunshaw said: “No one should live in fear of knives being used in their community and I hope anyone in possession of an offensive weapon will use this opportunity to protect both themselves and those around them by handing it in.”