PEOPLE are being urged to hand in knives as part of a surrender week.

Lancashire Police are part of the national week of action which encourages people to put knives in knife bins at stations including Greenbank in Blackburn, Burnley, Colne and Chorley.

Knife crime has risen sharply in the county in the last decade with around 1,150 serious crimes involving knives or bladed instruments during 2018/19, compared to 670 in 2010/11.

In the first three months of 2019, officers dealt with more than 500 offences caused by knife carriers.

Chief Inspector Steve Anderton said: “Lancashire Constabulary is being really pro-active about how it tackles knife crime.

“Nationally, young people who end up in hospital with a knife injury have usually been stabbed with their own knife – carrying a knife puts you at risk.

“Handing in and getting rid of a knife is really easy, using the bins is anonymous, you are immune from prosecution at the point of surrender and you are actually making yourself safer by ditching your blade.

“The knife surrender is completely anonymous, there will be no questions asked and there is no obligation to give your details when you surrender a weapon.

“Anyone can hand in a knife during the surrender, whether it is their own knife, or they wish to hand it in on behalf of a friend or family member.”

The force is using a three-pronged assault on knife crime. Prevention is about removing knives from circulation, reiterating the consequences and the seriousness of carrying a knife.

Education is about breaking the chain, targeting those most vulnerable to carrying knives, namely young people in their teens.

Enforcement is about targeting areas where people are thought to routinely carry knives, using stop and search powers, knife arches and detector wands.

Knife crime test purchases and visits to schools will also take place across the week of action.