Port knives off the streets

Lethal weapons Sgt Scott Archer with some of the blades handed in as part of Lancashire's knife amnesty
Lethal weapons Sgt Scott Archer with some of the blades handed in as part of Lancashire's knife amnesty
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Dozens of deadly weapons have been taken off the streets of Fleetwood as police look to cut knife crime on the Fylde coast.

Horrific weapons designed “purely to inflict injury” are among around 50 knives, swords and axes handed in at Fleetwood Police station since an amnesty was launched four weeks ago.

Lighting up: Austria's fireworld display in Blackpool on Friday night

Lighting up: Austria's fireworld display in Blackpool on Friday night

And after two stabbing attacks in the space of three days on the Fylde coast, police have made a fresh plea to rid the streets of deadly knives.

Insp James Martin said Fleetwood had seen the best response to the amnesty, with close to half of the 120 weapons handed in across the force’s Western Division, which covers the Fylde coast and Lancaster, coming from the port.

He said: “These knives are better off the streets.

“I think the reason so many have been handed in in Fleetwood is because of the location.The police station is in a residential area and people don’t have to go far.”

And he said the two attacks last week highlight the need to get the blades off the streets.

The Gazette told how a 21-year-old man suffered wounds to his arm and chest after an incident on Church Street, Blackpool, at 3.50pm on Tuesday.

A man was then stabbed in the abdomen outside a home on Haig Road, South Shore at 10am on Thursday.

Insp Martin added: “What surprised me is the variety of weapons people have handed in. We had a throwing axe. There is only one purpose for that – it’s designed purely to inflict injury. I am grateful these have come off the streets.

“Last week alone we had two knife crimes and I would encourage anyone, perhaps parents who know their children have access to knives, to take advantage of the amnesty.”

Designated bins have been left at police stations in Fleetwood, Blackpool, Lancaster and Morecambe. but police say knives can also be handed over at any station front counter during the amnesty.

Insp Martin said: “We had about 15 or 20 left in the bin at Bonny Street and more handed in over the counter.

“I think there’s a bit of a reluctance to walk through the town centre to hand in these knives – we even had one wrapped in birthday paper.”

He said by moving the bin to South Shore, a more densely populated area, he hoped it would be better used - as it has been in Fleetwood.

Police have hailed the amnesty a success, with more than 400 knives handed in across Lancashire, and are considering extending it beyond September 29.

Insp Martin said residents have nothing to fear by taking part in the amnesty.

“I am not conducting inquiries into what knives are handed in,” he added.

“People can come in, hand over their knives and walk away, no questions asked.”