knives cambridge
Some of the bladed weapons recovered by Cambridgeshire Police during the most recent amnesty Cambridgeshire Police

Swords and machetes were among nearly 100 deadly weapons handed over during a seven-day knife amnesty run by Cambridgeshire Police.

A picture of the haul, posted by the police force on Wednesday (8 November), shows the frightening array of blades on Britain's streets.

Last year saw more than 32,400 recorded knife crimes in England and Wales – a rise of 14% on the previous year.

Some 31 children and teenagers have been killed by knives so far this year, according to data compiled by the Guardian.

In Cambridgeshire alone, some 220 possession of weapon offences were recorded between July 2016 and June of this year.

The force's week-long knife amnesty began on 23 October and resulted in some 90 bladed weapons being recovered, including two swords and two machetes.

Its amnesties this year have seen 431 knives taken off the streets.

Chief Inspector Marcia Pringle said: "I'm pleased that the public responded positively to the amnesty, enabling us to take more knives off the streets.

"Amnesties are part of our ongoing work to tackle knife crime, so it's great news that we've now recovered more than 400 bladed items in the last year.

"People carrying knives, particularly young people, do so without understanding the real consequences of using them. The devastation that is caused to the victims who are seriously injured or fatally wounded, their families, the life outcomes for the person using the knife and the communities in which crime occurs.

"Being in possession of a knife in a public place without good reason is unlawful. If you're found to be carrying a knife in a public place you're likely to be arrested and convicted with heavy fines and a lifelong criminal record imposed by the court."

Officers say they have also been tackling another problem fuelling knife crime – the sale of blades to children. It has seen them visit shops to remind them it is against the law to sell a knife of any kind to anyone under the age of 18.

Knives and the law

The maximum penalty for an adult carrying a knife is four years in prison and a fine of £5,000.

It is illegal to:

  • sell a knife of any kind to anyone under 18 years old;
  • carry a knife in public without good reason - unless it's a knife with a folding blade 3 inches long (7.62 cm) or less, eg a Swiss Army knife;
  • carry, buy or sell any type of banned knife; and
  • use any knife in a threatening way (even a legal knife, such as a Swiss Army knife).