917 weapons taken off our streets

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767 knives and 150 other weapons have been taken off our streets in less than a year thanks to four knife amnesty bins.

The bins, installed by charity Words4Weapons, allow people to dispose of knives and other weapons anonymously and safely. The knives are destroyed and are not investigated by the police, even if they have been used in a crime.

The bins were unveiled in January in Barnet Grove, north of the Bethnal Green Road junction; Vallance Road opposite Underwood Road; Burslem Street between the recycling bins; and Brownfield Street next to number 107.

The bins were emptied at the start of April. Prior to that, they were emptied in June last year.

The other weapons alongside the knives include scissors, kitchen knives and utensils, knuckles, swords, and DIY tools.

Cllr Abu Talha Chowdhury, Cabinet Member for Safer Communities, said:

“Tower Hamlets is a safe place to live, work and visit, but just like any other London borough we do unfortunately see some knife crime here.

“These knife amnesty bins are a way to take knives off our streets. Every knife removed is potentially a life saved.

“Alongside the amnesty bins, we are also doing a lot of work with our young people to educate them about the consequences of carrying knives, and helping them to turn away from gangs, including workshops and outreach work.”

If you want to dispose of a knife or other sharp weapon, please wrap it in several layers of cardboard or newspaper and secure it with plenty of sticky tape so that the blade is completely protected and the knife cannot easily be removed, before placing it in a secure cardboard box.

It’s an offence to have a knife in a public place and there aren’t many reasonable excuses for having one. If you are depositing a knife in one of the amnesty bins, please make sure that it is safely wrapped.

If you are worried about the safety of a child or young person, you can see the council and national help available here.

Posted on Wednesday 15th May 2024