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Ten guns recovered after weapons bins emptied

19 Feb 2018

Ten guns and hundreds of knives were recovered on Friday (16 February) by officers who emptied weapons bins across the county.

The weapons will now be examined to see if they have been used in any crimes. If they have, they’ll be seized as evidence, but if not the weapons will be destroyed.

Officers emptied seven of the 11 weapons bins across the county as part of Operation Sceptre – a week-long initiative supported by us that aims to clamp down on knife crime.

Last Monday (12 February), officers were in The Mall in Luton and the Harpur Centre in Bedford speaking to the public about knife crime, and they recovered three knives on the first day of the operation.

On Tuesday (13 February) and Wednesday (14 February), a team of officers carried out weapons sweeps, searching undergrowth and other harder to reach areas looking for weapons that have been discarded or hidden for future use. The team recovered two knives, which will both be destroyed.

On Thursday (15 February) and Friday (16 February), officers carried out intelligence-led patrols in knife crime hotspot areas and were able to speak to a number of people about the consequences of carrying a knife.

The force also carried out a test purchase operation to ensure retailers know it’s illegal to sell a knife or similar bladed article to a person under the age of 18. Every retailer that was visited in Bedford passed, with all refusing to sell knives to the underage volunteers from the Cadet programme. Unfortunately three retailers in Luton, Dunstable, and Leighton Buzzard failed, so officers will now visit them to discuss further training for staff.

Superintendent Juliette Everett, our lead for knife crime, said: “It’s encouraging that people are using the weapons bins – now these weapons can’t be used to inflict harm on anyone else in the future. As a force we’re committed to tackling knife and gun crime, and knife crime was the focus of last week.

“My message to the young people of Bedfordshire is that you have a choice – you don’t have to carry a knife. The consequences of doing so, even if you don’t use it, are severe. You could end up in prison or with a fine of up to £5,000.   

“Our work around knife crime doesn’t stop because Operation Sceptre is over; we continue to run other knife crime related activity throughout the year. Knife crime is a priority for Bedfordshire Police, and we’ll continue to work with schools, retailers the public and partners to challenge it – the only way to tackle knife crime is to work together.”

To report information about someone carrying a knife, go to the online reporting centre on this website, or call 101. You can also call independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. In an emergency always dial 999.

Two guns found in a weapons bin
Two guns found in a weapons bin
Swords found in a weapons bin
Swords found in a weapons bin

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