A week-long surrender of weapons in Greater Manchester starts today with the aim of reducing knife crime in the region.
The fresh campaign by Greater Manchester Police (GMP) allows anyone to anonymously drop off illegal or unwanted knives and weapons at dedicated banks in 11 police stations.
Latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed a 9% increase in knife crime in England and Wales for the year ending June 2016.
Although partly attributed to improved recording practices, the ONS said there was still “a small but genuine increase in some categories of violent crime”.
Earlier this year, six people were jailed in connection with the death of 21-year-old Dominic Doyle, who was stabbed repeatedly after a disagreement in a Denton bar.
Dominic’s mother Rhian Jones is backing the Bin the Blade campaign.
She said: “It was an unprovoked attack, which took away my only child. I want to speak directly to the mums of these youths carrying knives. Be open and honest with them and talk to them about carrying knives.
“Please don’t think it will never happen to you because that’s what I thought and it could be you burying your son or daughter next time because someone was carrying a knife.
“This needs to stop – we need to get the knives off the streets.”
Previous amnesties in Greater Manchester have been held in 2007 and 2015.
GMP’s Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Jim Battle said: “Campaigns like this have proved successful in the past, taking hundreds of knives off our streets before they fall into the wrong hands.”
The month-long campaign in February of last year saw 1500 knives and other sharp weapons handed into police stations – including swords, machetes and ornamental daggers.
Cllr Battle continued: “Now we ask the people of Greater Manchester to once again look to their consciences, do the right thing and bin the blade.
“Please take this opportunity to get rid of your blades anonymously and continue to work with us to make our streets safer for future generations.”
The amnesty runs from 21 – 27 November. For drop off points and opening hours, visit www.gmp.police.uk/bintheblade