Councils in North Yorkshire have been awarded £15,000 for a scheme to take knives off the streets.
Knife drop bins will be installed permanently across North Yorkshire and the City of York. Funding has been provided by the county's Police and Crime Commissioner's Prevention and Early Intervention fund.
In Harrogate, a knife drop bin was installed at the Dragon Road car park in the town. Since January, more than 500 knives and bladed articles have been deposited at the location.
Although North Yorkshire is regarded as one of the safest counties in England and Wales, knife crime remains an issue.
Commissioner Zoë Metcalfe, North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, said:
“Knife bins have proved their worth wherever they have been located. I am delighted that my Office has been able to provide funding to this project. We can never truly reverse the impact of a violent crime after it has occurred, and so it is crucial that we are able to support preventative measures like this which are proven to reduce the risk of these crimes happening in the first place."My Office supports a range of services designed to do just that, providing support for victims of crime as well as addressing the underlying causes of reoffending."
There were more than 2,700 recorded incidents in the Harrogate district where a knife or bladed article was involved or mentioned between January 2020 and June 2022.
The number of fatal stabbings in England and Wales is reported to be at its highest level since records began more than 75 years ago.
Figures from the Office for National Statistics show 282 homicides were committed using a knife or sharp instrument in the year to March 2022, which is a 19% rise when compared to the previous year.
North Yorkshire Council’s executive member for corporate services, Cllr David Chance, said:
“I am delighted the bid for funding has been approved. Knife bins will not reduce these horrendous statistics on their own, but they have proven to be a successful way of preventing knives and bladed articles from getting into the wrong hands,” he said.
“Knife crime has devastating consequences for all those involved. If installing these bins leads to the prevention of just one death, then the investment will have been worthwhile.”
Locations are currently being considered for the new knife drop bins.
Once the locations have been decided, members of the public will be able to deposit the knife or bladed article through the bin’s hatch. People are advised to wrap the blade in thick paper or cardboard and secure with tape as a safety precaution.
The bins will then be emptied by officers from North Yorkshire Police and the items disposed of.