And we have teamed up with the Ben Kinsella Trust to raise awareness of the dangers of carrying a knife.
We empty all our knife bins regularly. The last time they collectively contained 13,299 knives, other sharp objects and weapons – weighing approximately 1.1 tonnes – which were taken to a secure location to be destroyed.
“Knife bins have proved to be very effective at collecting thousands of knives each year, removing them from our streets, homes and communities. “And now Epping Forest residents have the opportunity to dispose of them closer to home. “Thankfully, knife-enabled crime is falling across Essex. In the 12 months to April 2022, 1,629 offences were recorded, a drop of 13 per cent from the 1,881 offences recorded during the 12 months to April 2020 – the best year with which to compare given the impact of Covid. “Of course, there is more to do but we can’t tackle this issue on our own. It requires our communities to stand up and say that carrying a knife is wrong and for us to take a multi-agency approach to finding solutions. “So, we work with the Essex Violence and Vulnerability Partnership, the Ben Kinsella Trust and other local organisations, such as education, health, local authorities and probation services, to educate young people that carrying a knife is more likely to put themselves at risk of being hurt or hurting someone else than it is to protect them.” Epping Forest District Commander Chief Inspector Paul Ballard
“Knife crime has a devastating impact on victims and our communities. Each and every knife placed in one of these bins is another knife off our streets which might otherwise be used to cause someone serious harm or end their life. “Not only do these bins allow dangerous weapons to be safely and anonymously disposed of, their visible presence in the heart of our town centres helps raise awareness of the real risks posed by carrying knives. “I am really pleased all the new knife bins have now been rolled out across our county. They are helping getting thousands of knives off the streets of Essex every year.” Deputy Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Jane Gardner
The new knife bin is adorned with artwork designed by Bethany, a student of Cornelius Vermuyden School on Canvey Island, who won an art competition earlier this year to design a positive anti-knife poster.
Working to tackle knife crime
Our knife bins are, of course, just one element of our wider approach to tackling knife crime.
Our operational focus includes ‘hotspot’ policing, intelligence-gathering, using knife arches and the Open Gate system, and utilising additional powers such as dispersal orders and Section 60 powers, which are an extension of our regular stop and search activity.
We also work with partner agencies and charities to help divert people involved in, or at risk of being involved in, knife and violent crime or gang membership away from such lifestyles towards sports, education, volunteering and rehabilitation.
Research shows that carrying a knife doesn’t offer protection, in fact it increases the likelihood that an individual might be stabbed. Every time someone leaves a knife in a knife bin, they are making a positive decision to live knife-free, keeping themselves and those around them safe.
This is why we, the VVP and the OPFCC have partnered with the Ben Kinsella Trust, which was founded by actress Brooke Kinsella following the fatal stabbing of her 16-year-old brother Ben in an unprovoked attack on 29 June 2008 in north London.
One of the leading anti-knife charities, the trust campaigns against knife crime and for action and justice for those affected by it, working with more than 4,000 young people each year, educating them so they can make positive choices to stay safe and not stray into crime.
Where you can dispose of weapons in Essex
We have a knife bin in every district council area. Check to find your nearest one:
Basildon Police Station, Great Oaks SS14 1EJ
Braintree Police Station, Blyth’s Meadow CM7 3DJ
Brentwood Town Hall, Ingrave Road CM15 8AY
Canvey Island Police Station Long Road, SS8 0JD
Chelmsford Police Station, New Street CM1 1NF
Clacton Police Station, Beatrice Road CO15 1ET
Colchester Police Station, Southway CO3 3BU
Harlow Police Station, The High, CM20 1HG
Harwich Park Pavilion, Barrack Lane CO12 3NS
Loughton Police Station, High Road IG10 4BE
Maldon District Council office, Princes Road CM9 5DL
Pitsea: opposite Chalvedon Social Club, Chalvedon Square SS13 3QX
Rayleigh Police Station, High Street SS6 7QB
Grays Police Station, Brook Road, RM17 5BX
Southend Police Station, Victoria Avenue SS2 6ES
Making the right choices and keeping safe
Find out more about the work of the Ben Kinsella Trust at benkinsella.org.uk where you will find resources for young people, for teachers and practitioners and for parents about knife crime, making the right choices and keeping safe.
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