Thanet District Council’s Community Safety team, in partnership with Kent Police and Kent County Council’s Violence Reduction Unit, installed eight knife amnesty bins across the district in 2020. The bins were funded by the Kent and Medway Violence Reduction Unit.
The knife amnesty bins were organised in partnership with Kent Police as part of Operation Sceptre, a nationwide initiative to tackle knife crime. They form part of a wider strategic approach to the reduction of knife crime in Thanet, with the aim of encouraging people to dispose of unwanted knives safely and without fear of prosecution.
The bins are located in the following locations:
- The Kings Steps, Marine Drive Margate
- Buenos Ayres at the junction of Station Road, Margate
- Elham Close, Margate
- Tomlin Drive, Margate
- Lloyd Road at the junction of High Street, Broadstairs
- Madeira Walk at the junction of Albion Hill, Ramsgate
- Boundary Road at the junction of Hardres Road, Ramsgate
- Station Approach Road at the junction with the alley leading to Stephens Close, Ramsgate
The bins were installed in March 2020 in areas deemed to be knife crime hot spots. They are emptied every three months by the council’s Community Safety Team and Kent Police, with help from our Street Cleansing Team. Since their installation, we have recovered 1,069 knives. When emptied in October 2022, 169 knives and other dangerous weapons were collected. The next collection is planned to take place in January 2023.
The Community Safety Team is currently working alongside partner agencies to develop ideas on how the knives could be used to create something harmless and positive, once safely collected.
As part of a campaign to raise awareness of the knife amnesty scheme, a poster design competition was launched by the Community Safety Team, in partnership with the Violence Reduction Unit, Kent County Council and Kent Police. The competition was announced at the start of the academic year in September. Pupils in years 7-13 from schools across the district, were invited to submit original designs to be featured on the bins.
In total, the competition received over 100 entries and eight winning designs were chosen from pupils attending St George’s, Hartsdown and King Ethelbert schools. At an awards ceremony which took place at the council’s Cecil Street offices on Tuesday 8 November, the eight winners were announced, and each presented with a £50 multi-store gift card. Each of them will now see their design printed on one of the eight bins. Everyone who submitted a design has been awarded a certificate.
Cllr George Kup, Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Youth Engagement, said: “We were delighted that so many young people took part in the competition, with over 100 entries from three local schools. The ongoing knife amnesty project is vital to our work to keep our communities safe. By working closely with local schools, we can reinforce the message that knives are dangerous and need to be removed from the streets, ultimately reducing instances of knife crime among our younger residents.”
Inspector Ian Swallow, Kent Police, said:
“The knife amnesty bins are a vital part of our work in reducing violent offending and ensuring that Thanet is a safe place to live and visit. The placing of the bins across our towns provides a risk-free way of removing knives from our communities that could otherwise potentially be used for criminal activity.
This design competition is a really great example of how partner agencies can work together to make communities safer, reinforcing the message to our young people of the danger of knives and the impact they can have on lives.”