Salford knife

Over 40 knives have been recovered since February as part of Greater Manchester Police’s forever knife amnesty.

In February, GMP launched the forever knife amnesty after permanent knife bins were placed in 12 different locations across Greater Manchester.

This week when officers from the Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) emptied the bins – the first time since the start of lockdown – they found 554 different knives.

The #ForeverAmnesty is a project that was launched on a permanent basis following the success of September’s amnesty, including Salford knives.

Salford knives
A map of all amnesty bin locations. Image credit: GMP

Sergeant Paul Nolan of Greater Manchester’s Violence Reduction Unit said: “The total number of weapons deposited in the bins since February was 554 knives, which is a huge amount considering we haven’t advertised the bins during lockdown.

The bins remained available throughout the Covid-19 pandemic as a safe option to dispose of a weapon for those who may have felt vulnerable.

“The amnesty is not about secrecy, it’s to allow people to bring a knife to a police station where they can deposit it into a bin. The purpose is to reduce the number of knives on the streets of Greater Manchester and this is proving to be a safe and secure way of doing this.”

“Perhaps most importantly, we have weapon engagement and education with the young people in our region as part of our community-led approach to prevention.”

Greater Manchester’s Deputy Mayor for Policing, Crime, Criminal Justice and Fire, Bev Hughes, said: “GMP’s knife amnesty achieved fantastic results when it was launched last autumn and it’s really encouraging to see this number of knives safely handed into police over the past few months as a result of this ongoing campaign.

The Greater Manchester Violence Reduction Unit was set up in 2019, with funding from the Home Office, to bring together police, local authorities, youth services, health, education and schools, as well as other criminal justice partners, to tackle serious violence.

“As outlined in our recently launched Serious Violence Action Plan, the VRU is investing £500,000 in a community-led pilot that will be rolled out later in the year and will allow residents and VSCE organisations in six Greater Manchester districts to develop place-based approaches and solutions to tackling serious violence in their communities.”

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