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Members of the public are now able to properly dispose of knives, blades or sharp tools in a safe and anonymous way as a knife drop bin has been installed in Harrogate.
The distinctive orange bin can be found between Asda Car Park and Dragon Road Car Park, close to the recycling bins, and is the first to be installed across the North Yorkshire area.
The knife bin forms part of a wider initiative coordinated by Harrogate Borough Council and North Yorkshire Police, who will also be carrying out other strands of the campaign such as delivering education on knife crime to young people and enlisting support from anti-knife crime charities and local businesses.
Those wishing to deposit a knife are advised to wrap the blade in either thick paper or cardboard and secure with tape as a safety precaution. Once secure, take the knife directly to the bin location and deposit it safely by dropping it through the hatch.
The correct disposal of sharp and bladed articles will ensure they are kept out of circulation in Harrogate and the surrounding areas. By taking them out of private ownership it will prevent potentially dangerous weapons falling into criminal hands and aid towards safer and knife-free communities.
The purpose of the knife bin not only aims to reduce knife-enabled crime and violence, but also to provide reassurance to members of the general public who are now able to properly dispose of unwanted knives and sharp objects in a safe and secure manner, should they need to.
Discarding knives by handing them directly into police stations can be a daunting prospect, which is why introducing this simple and discrete method of disposal will hopefully encourage people to utilise the knife drop bin, particularly when coming across old surplus kitchen knives or sharp work tools such as Stanley knives.
Under the Offensive Weapons Act 2019 it is now also illegal to possess certain weapons in private places. Items that could have previously been considered as decorative, collectable or antique pieces are now unlawful to own and you will face prosecution if weapons such as samurai swords, shurikens and flick knives are found in your home.
Many of these weapons are held in innocence or lack of knowledge of their illegality. We therefore want to urge those in possession of such items to take advantage of the knife drop bin.
Those who use the knife bin for its intended purpose of disposing of weapons will be granted amnesty to do so and will therefore not face prosecution for disposing of their knives.
North Yorkshire Police Inspector Nicola Colboure, who covers Harrogate, said: “While knife crime in North Yorkshire is very low compared to many surrounding areas, we do see the awful injuries knives and other bladed items can inflict if they fall into the wrong hands.
“This is an excellent way to ensure they’re permanently taken out of circulation, which in turn helps us ensure North Yorkshire remains officially England’s safest county.”