Greater Manchester Police is appealing for people to ‘Bin the Blade’ with a month-long knife surrender, starting at 8am on Sunday 1 February 2015.
The Bin the Blade campaign has been launched in support of the British Ironwork Centre’s ‘Save a Life, Surrender Your Knife’ initiative, which began in August 2014 with a knife bank in Birmingham.
The Centre has since toured UK cities encouraging young people who are carrying knives to give them up. Surrendered knives will be used to create a spectacular 15-24 feet tall Angel statue in memory of those whose lives have been tragically lost to knife crime.
To support the campaign, Greater Manchester Police has committed to launching 11 knife bins across the region. The secure bins were designed in conjunction with local voluntary organisation Raising Aspirations and manufactured by the British Ironworks Centre specifically for the surrender and completely free of charge.
It’s been nine years since the last knife surrender in Greater Manchester, where the force asks members of the public to surrender unlawfully held or unwanted knives and bladed weapons to help prevent them falling into the wrong hands.
Many knives are held in innocence or ignorance of their illegality. The surrender gives holders the chance to dispose of the knife with no questions asked, by simply dropping it into one of the knife bins in their area.
The surrender will be held for one month from Sunday 1 February at 8am to 11.59pm on Sunday 28 February 2015.
During that period, those surrendering knives will not face prosecution for carrying them and they can remain anonymous. However, the force will maintain its zero-tolerance approach which will continue during the surrender – leniency will not be shown to anyone stopped by the police and found to be in possession of a knife they will be arrested as normal and an advice file submitted to the Crown Prosecution Service who will decide whether charges are to be brought based on certain criteria.
Detective Chief Inspector Debbie Dooley of Xcalibre Task Force and the Integrated Gang Management Unit said:
"Although knife crime counts for quite a small fraction of crime in Greater Manchester, like any crime involving weapons it has a devastating effect on people's lives and one incident of knife crime is one too many. Knife crime not only impacts on the victims, but their families, friends, neighbours and the local community.
“In the wrong hands, a knife is a deadly weapon. The knife bank will enable members of the public to surrender knives safely and anonymously and in turn remove these weapons from our streets.”
Assistant Chief Constable Ian Wiggett said:
"People have a month to anonymously hand in their knives or bladed weapons in an surrender bin. I urge people to take this opportunity to bin the blade and watch as something so dangerous is transformed into the beautiful memorial to remember victims.”
“We are committed to protecting our communities from violent crime and we hope to have their support throughout February as we work hard to get these weapons off our streets.”
Greater Manchester’s Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Lloyd has spoken out in support of the surrender:
“Knife crime can end lives and devastate families. This amnesty is an opportunity to turn something negative and destructive into a positive, sending a strong message to communities that carrying a weapon is not an option if we are to build safer communities. I urge the public to support this month of action, make the right choice and bin the blade.”
Clive Knowles, Chairman of British Ironwork Centre said:
“Greater Manchester Police have illustrated their continued determination to address difficult community issues, knife crime being but one.
“The British Ironworks Centre is privileged to be in a position to be of service and calls upon all the UK's forces to follow the GMP lead and request knife or Gun banks while available, offered free of any cost.”
Knives can be surrendered at any of the police stations with the surrender bins in place. Anyone wishing to surrender weapons is advised to check the opening times of their station by calling 101 or visiting the GMP website.
The drop bins will be located at:
North Manchester: Central Park, Newton Heath M40 5BQ
South Manchester: 2 Grindlow Street, Longsight M13 0LL
Salford: Chorley Road, Swinton, M27 6BA
Tameside: Manchester Road, Ashton-u-Lyne, OL7 0BQ
Stockport: Spectrum Way, Stockport, SK3 0SA
Bolton: Scholey Street, Burnden, Bolton, BL2 1HX
Wigan: Robin Park Road, Wigan, WN5 0UP
Trafford: Talbot Road, Stretford, M32 0XB
Bury: Dunster Road, Bury, BL9 0RD
Rochdale: The Holme, The Esplanade, Rochdale, OL16 1AG
Oldham: Barn Street, Oldham, OL1 1BR
For updates and further info follow #BinTheBlade on Twitter and Facebook.