Hampshire police launch month-long knife amnesty
A month-long knife amnesty has been launched in Southampton in a police crackdown on drug-related violence.
Police said people can dispose of knives, bladed items and illegal weapons in designated amnesty bins in March without fear of repercussions.
Weapons can be deposited at Southampton Central or Bitterne police stations as part of Operation Fortress.
It was launched following a string of serious incidents in the city in the last two years including six stabbings.
Ch Insp Kelly Whiting, from Hampshire Constabulary, said: "We know people carry knives for many reasons including fear or because they think it can help protect them. The reality is it puts them at greater risk of being seriously injured or killed, not to mention being arrested for possessing an offensive weapon.
"This amnesty is your chance to hand unlawful weapons [in] and walk away without prosecution and free from the fear you could be putting yours and your loved ones lives at risk."
Figures show 242 incidents involving bladed weapons were reported to police between April and February 21 - down 21% from 307 in the same period the previous year.
Ch Insp Whiting added: "Such weapons have been involved in drug-related violent crimes in Southampton and it's our aim to reduce the risk they pose by taking them off our streets."