AN appeal is being made to young people who choose to carry knives as protection.

It comes as Lancashire Police announced their latest weapons amnesty is to be launched on Tuesday.

The surrender will mean people can dispose of knives in bins placed around the county anonymously, without the worry of being caught in the possession of a weapon.

The week-long surrender is part of Operation Sceptre, a move to remove dangerous weapons from the street, reduce knife crime and raise awareness of the dangers and consequences of carrying a knife.

In the last weapons amnesty campaign, which took place in February, a total of 106 knives were handed in across the county.

Chief Insp Mark Baines, Lancashire Police’s co-ordinator for the knife surrender, said: “While knife crime is not a major problem in the county, a knife is a lethal weapon – even one on Lancashire’s streets is one too many.

“In particular, I want to appeal to youngsters who may be tempted to carry a knife because they believe it offers them protection. Having a knife in a public place is a criminal offence, with young people more likely to be stabbed and seriously injured with their own weapon.”

He continued: “I hope that our communities will again help us to remove such items 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.”

Knife bins will be placed in Burnley, Blackburn and Nelson, with further bins in Preston and Morecambe.

Any knives or offensive weapons which are too large for the bins can be handed in at the front counters at the designated police stations, and residents are asked to ensure the knives are wrapped in newspaper, cardboard or tape before they are dropped in the bins or handed in.

Chief Insp Baines added: “Lancashire Constabulary has a zero tolerance policy toward possession of knives in public, and I want to reassure residents that will continue during the surrender.

“If anyone is found in possession of a knife during the surrender – and is clearly not en route to a police station to hand it over – they will be dealt with appropriately.”

Anyone will be able to anonymously dispose of a weapon, whether it belongs to them, a friend or a relative. For those who know a friend or family member in possession of a knife, the police ask they encourage them to hand their weapons in.

Clive Grunshaw, Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner said: “I fully support Lancashire Constabulary’s involvement in this campaign to remove knives from our streets. Time and again we see the tragic impact on people’s lives as a consequence of knives being used."

“Knives are deadly weapons and you will be arrested and prosecuted if you are caught carrying one. If you own a dangerous knife I’d urge you to protect both yourself and those around you by handing it in safely and anonymously.

“Campaigns such as this play an important role in reducing crime and re-offending, a key priority in my Police and Crime Plan. I’m committed to making our neighbourhoods safer and anything that helps to achieve this can only be a good thing.”

The surrender will run until Monday, September 24.