The Essex Police Department in the United Kingdom is partnering with a group called Only Cowards Carry. Part of this partnership includes placing “knife bins” around the area where you can anonymously dump knives and, it appears, other sharp objects. They are calling it knife amnesty and the object is to reduce “knife crime” (sic). They had a post about it up on their Facebook page but it has been taken down according to KnifeNews.com.
|Picture captured from Facebook by www.knifenews.com|
According to the Essex Police Department’s website, the bin is in Southend and is part of that town’s knife amnesty campaign.
From their website:
In a move to tackle knife crime, Sergeant Kayleigh Webster from Southend’s Local Policing Team sought to have the bin donated to Essex Police by Only Cowards Carry, it will enable the safe disposal of all bladed items handed in as part of the amnesty.
The introduction of the knife amnesty bin in Southend follows bins being placed across the county. Since a trial of a knife amnesty in Tendring in 2014, more than 7,000 knives have been surrendered safely.
Since the launch of the bin, Southend’s Local Policing Team has opened the bin to discover over 30 knives and weapons have been surrendered.
The amnesty is being supported by Essex Police, the Essex Police and Crime Commissioner, Southend-on-Sea Borough Council and the Only Cowards Carry charity set up by Caroline Shearer in memory of her son Jay Whiston who was stabbed to death at a party in Colchester in September 2012.
Sergeant Kayleigh Webster from Southend’s Local Policing Team and her team have been working tirelessly over the past few months to carry out a number of operations around the clock to reduce weapon related crimes and violent crimes in Southend.
In a number of dedicated operations, Sgt Webster’s team have carried out over 50 stop and searches which led to police finding and seizing over 200 knives in Southend. A total of 40 people have been charged for being in possession of an offensive weapon.
Along with continued operations, Sgt Webster believes the knife amnesty bin will take more knives off of the streets of Southend. She said: “Knife crime has a devastating impact on the victim’s family, friends and the community. Having served Essex Police for nearly ten years, I’ve seen first-hand the impact that knife crime can have.
Only Cowards Carry Weapons Awareness is a registered charity – the UK version of a non-profit – located in eastern England. They have five of these knife bins in place and have plans for nine more. They put on a number of workshops in the area.
I feel for any mother who lost her child to a violent crime. However, blaming the tool instead of the actions of the violent offender is misplaced. You see that here in America with the various gun control groups. Moreover, terms like “knife crime” and “gun violence” are oxymorons. The knife didn’t commit the crime anymore than the gun perpetrated the violence. They are both inanimate objects incapable of independent actions. It is the violent person who decides to act that is the problem and not the tool. If we are to blame all objects that are used in the commission of a violent act, then we also have steel-toed boot crime and stick on the ground violence. I doubt we’ll see any organizations devoted to the outlawing of steel-toed boots or limbs that have fallen on the ground anytime soon.