Horror as blades overspill from knife amnesty bank

EXCLUSIVE BY LOTTIE KILRAINE
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A knife amnesty bank for would-be criminals to surrender their weapons without threat of charge was left overflowing with blades.

The state of the deposit bin at Brixton police station – one of scores across South London – has sparked outrage among residents and people who use the station.

A video filmed there last week and shown to the South London Press sees a man putting his hand into the slot at the top of the knife bank and easily pulling out a serrated ‘Zombie’ knife.

At the same time, inside the station, defendants were being charged by police for possession of dangerous weapons.

This week the knife bank’s slot has been covered up with a flimsy piece of paper saying “do not use”.

Residents living nearby expressed their horror at the state of the deposit box.

Georgia Whitehouse, 24, of nearby Canterbury Crescent, said: “I find this shocking because anyone can access the knives so easily.

The state of the deposit bin at Brixton police station – one of scores across South London – has sparked outrage among residents and people who use the station.

“There is a primary school around the corner.

“It is already scary enough being a woman and walking around this area, particularly at night, so having this easy access to knives right on my doorstep is intimidating.

“In theory I should feel safer than most living opposite a police station, however this is just another cause for concern.”

Surrender your knife amnesty bins were created as a way for knife carriers to give up their blades in a safe and anonymous way.

Fergus Glazer, 22, of Dalyell Road, said: “I think it is a good idea but in practice I don’t think it has been done very well. They haven’t thought it through.

“I think the drop-off point needs to be manned or have someone supervising it, but obviously without any judgement to anyone who is dropping a knife off.

“But just to leave it there as a public bin is terrible. I feel as though it has almost been done for the image, to make it seem like they (the police) care. It seems like a half-baked idea.”

His housemate, Eve, also 22, said: “Someone can just go and take a knife. It (the bin) needs to be safer, especially being just outside a police station.

“The bin is right around the corner from our house and it is a bit scary. Could they not lock it at night?

“Having it like this is potentially more dangerous than the original purpose, because anyone can just take a knife from the bin.

“We moved to Brixton from Suffolk a month ago and seeing something like this outside the police station does not make me feel safe.”

Clive Knowles, chairman and National Anti-Violence Tour Lead, said: “We supplied London with Free Knife Banks, it was never our responsibility to empty them.

“What’s interesting is why the Knife Angel (National Monument against violence and Aggression) and the National Anti-violence Youth Educational Programme is currently touring the UK and still hasn’t been invited to London?

“Basically, the Angel and its “Youth Educational Programme”, was created for London originally but London has never benefited.

“It’s demoralising to keep hearing of all the London violence and to continually hear politicians talk about how much they’re doing and effectively its simply untrue.”

A Met Police spokesman said: “We are aware that we had a large number of knives in our knife amnesty bins.

“These bins have now been emptied, and we are reviewing their management.

“Our two bins – at Brixton and Walworth – provide a safe way for people to dispose of knives that they have, or have found, and are an important part of our local strategy to tackle violent crime.”

 


 

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