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Offensive Weapons: Amnesties

Volume 496: debated on Wednesday 15 July 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of knife amnesty programmes; and if he will make a statement. (282087)

On 26 June 2007, following the national knife amnesty in 2006, the Government published a best practice guide for local police forces and practitioners providing a tactical menu of options to tackle knife-enabled crime at a local level. This was developed closely with ACPO and was developed drawing on the local lessons learned from the national amnesty.

The 2006 knife amnesty was held from 24 May to the end of June 2006. Over that period, almost 90,000 items were handed in to police in England and Wales. This constitutes a substantial quantity of potentially lethal items taken off the streets. The amnesty was just one facet of our knife crime strategy, which focuses on tough enforcement, education programmes and support for wider prevention work. We are continuing our support to local initiatives and projects through the Community Fund, which was established in December 2008 and will provide financial assistance to 144 groups over three years.