A KNIFE amnesty has resulted in more than 250 bladed items being handed into police, including meat cleavers and Gurkha knives.

The initiative, which was organised by Redcar and Cleveland Police, ran throughout December in stations including Redcar town, South Bank, Guisborough and Eston.

Although officers say there isn’t a problem with knife crime in the area it is always worth removing bladed weapons from people’s homes.

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Acting Sergeant Jon Hutchinson, Redcar & Cleveland Police, said: “The knife amnesty has proved a great success with more than 250 bladed items, ranging from kitchen knives and meat cleavers to Bowie and Ghurkha knives, being disposed of in specialist bins across Redcar and Cleveland District over the last five weeks.

“We do not have a particular problem with knife crime in the district however each and every one of these items is a potentially fatal weapon in the wrong hands or in the wrong circumstances.

“Many people had weapons in their homes without thinking about the consequences of what could happen. It is much better to get them out disposed of properly and safely so that there is less likelihood that they could be used during a moment of madness.

“We are grateful to members of the public who got on board with the initiative; without their help and co-operation we wouldn’t have seen this success.”

There have been several incidents over the years where someone living in the Redcar and Cleveland force area has been killed by someone wielding a knife, including Chris Cave, from Redcar, who was stabbed to death in June 2003 by Sean Matson, who had been on a drinks and drugs binge.

Acting Sgt Hutchinson added: “Many people have the perception that there are loads of hoodie-wearing youths hanging around on street corners carrying knives and that is not the case, it is in some towns and cities but not in our area.

“In all the years that I have stopped and searched people I have never found anyone carrying a weapon, that isn’t to say they don’t have them stored somewhere else, which is why it is important to get as many of them off the streets as possible.”