Daventry knife bin

Knife Amnesty bins installed across West Northants to tackle serious violence

Five Knife Amnesty bins and Emergency Bleed Control cabinets have been installed in communities across West Northamptonshire as part of a partnership approach to tackle knife crime and serious violence.

The amnesty bins allow people to discard knives or harmful weapons without fear of being prosecuted. The bins are securely bolted to walls with a letter box design to allow knife deposits whilst stopping people from reaching inside and are emptied regularly.

West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) in partnership with Northamptonshire Police, Northamptonshire Partnership Homes, and anti-knife crime charity Off The Streets NN have installed the bins over the past 12 months in the Kingsthorpe, Blackthorn, Thorplands and town centre areas of Northampton, and New Street in Daventry.

The Kingsthorpe knife bin was installed with support from Cheri Curran, mother of Louis-Ryan Menezes who was fatally stabbed in St David’s in 2018.

Off the Streets NN has also installed emergency bleed control kits in locations across the county which can be used to provide emergency aid to treat patients injured in a serious violent crime and keep them alive until the emergency services arrive.

A map of all amnesty bin and bleed control kit locations can be viewed in the Knife Angel App, available via the Explore Northampton App, along with videos, downloadable pdfs and information for parents on how to look out for signs that their child is being drawn into gangs and carrying weapons.

There will be a free training session to teach people how to use the critical bleed kits at 6pm on Monday 31 July, at the University of Northampton. You can book your space for this session here.

Cllr David Smith, WNC’s Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Engagement, and Regulatory Services, said: “These bins form part of our wider plans to tackle knife crime and serious violence and make communities in West Northamptonshire safer for everyone.

“As part of our ongoing work with Northamptonshire Police and the West Northants Community Safety Partnership (CSP) we are taking a deep-seated approach to tackling knife crime by focussing our efforts on supporting young people in difficult circumstances, including support around mental health and addiction which are both factors in driving crime.

“The Knife Amnesty bins provide a safe and legal way to dispose of blades, knives and any other harmful weapon – and each one surrendered is potentially a life saved.”

The West Northamptonshire Community Safety Partnership (CSP) recently launched its 2023/24 strategy reinforcing its commitment to make West Northamptonshire a safer place for residents and visitors and outlining a number of key priorities to tackle all forms of crime, serious violence, and anti-social behaviour.

Northamptonshire Police Chief Inspector Nathan Murray, said: “We support any initiative that helps to make our streets safer, and the installation of permanent knife bins is to be welcomed. I encourage anyone who wants to safely dispose of a knife to use one of the bins.

“The impact of knife crime can be utterly devastating, and we’re committed to doing all we can to help reduce the number of offences that take place, using prevention and intervention as key tactics. This involves working with schools, colleges and community groups to educate about the dangers and potential consequences of carrying weapons, while at the same time providing intervention for those young people who we know are involved in knife crime.

“We will of course, also continue to investigate those crimes where a knife has been used, using all available tactics to uncover the evidence needed to put offenders before our courts.”

A church service and vigil were held in Northampton earlier this year to mark one year since the Knife Angel monument visited Northampton and to remember those who have died through knife crime or been affected by violence.

An augmented reality version of the monument along with more information about knife crime and a link to the Fearless website, where people can report information anonymously, can also be found in the Knife Angel App.