A SENIOR police officer is telling those who carry blades in public: “Save your life. Drop the knife.”
Det Supt Una Jennings, South Yorkshire Police’s force lead for armed criminality, launched the blade-beating campaign across the county today.
She and colleagues want to spread the message that having a knife will only ever lead to trouble — including injury or death — for its carrier.
Knife crime has increased across South Yorkshire in the last year.
The campaign launch includes an 11-day knife amnesty across South Yorkshire, with hand-ins at four police stations around the county.
Det Supt Jennings (pictured below) said: “Whether it’s carried for protection or status, the fact remains you have a lethal and dangerous weapon in your possession.
“Do you carry a knife, or does someone close to you carry one?
“Please consider the life changing impact it could have on yourself or on your loved one, and take the opportunity to safely dispose of the weapon during our surrender.”
Anyone caught carrying a knife faces the prospect of four years in prison, while those using a blades to cause fatal injury could be jailed for life.
Det Supt Jennings urged anyone who might own unwanted knives, axes, daggers, bayonets or other blades to make use of the amnesty.
The campaign is being promoted on social media using the hashtag #droptheknife.
The amnesty will take place until Monday, July 31, at four stations, including Rotherham’s Main Street police station.
Those handing in blades will not be prosecuted for possession — but all weapons surrendered will be forensically examined.
But any indication that they have been used criminally could lead to prosecution.
Det Supt Jennings added: “We want to demonstrate and offer assurance to the public that we do not and will not tolerate knife crime.
“I hope this campaign and wide range of activities and operations that will continue throughout the summer, highlights our commitment to tackle criminality and keep our county safe.”
See www.southyorks.pnn.police.uk/droptheknife or call 101 for more information on opening times at the enquiry desks.
To report illegal knife activity, call the charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.