Teenage anti-knife campaigner Holly Watson has shredded the 6,000+ knives handed in to Suffolk’s Bin a Blade amnesty.
The year-long amnesty was launched in December 2010 by Holly, BBC Suffolk’s Mark Murphy and Suffolk Constabulary's Chief Constable Simon Ash.
6,125 knives were handed in at various police locations and were shredded at Sackers Recycling in Great Blakenham on Wednesday 1 February 2012, by putting them through their machine which is usually used to reduce cars to shreds. Suffolk Constabulary is grateful to Sackers for shredding the knives without charge.
Holly herself tipped the knives, estimated to weigh a tonne, into the shredder from the control room. She said it was emotional pressing the button. "It feels good to destroy these knives after all the hard work that’s been put into this campaign – they’re gone, no-one can be hurt by them anymore and they can be recycled into something more positive.
"I never thought we’d get this many knives. It’s a milestone – a point I needed to get to and it’s so nice to know they’re shredded."
Mark Murphy added, "This is an incredible amount, I’m flabbergasted to see the quantity of knives, and see some of the really nasty blades that have been handed in. I will continue to support Holly and Suffolk Constabulary as they take the education message forwards, so people think twice before carrying a knife."
Chief Constable Ash said, "This is immensely impressive – 6000 knives divided by the number of days means between ten and twenty knives were handed in every day of the amnesty. That’s a phenomenal number."
Some of the amnesty knives will be made into an award by local inventor Dr Rex Garrod, who in the past has designed robots for Robot Wars and created the TV car Brum. After the knives were shredded, he selected some of the scrap for his creation. Suffolk Constabulary will be deciding the criteria for the award over the coming months.
The four static bins are remaining in place so people in Suffolk can continue to bin their blades. Suffolk Constabulary will be continuing to work with Holly Watson and BBC Radio Suffolk to make carrying a knife unacceptable.
During the year-long knife amnesty, 6,125 knives were collected and destroyed from the following locations: Ipswich (2,084), Lowestoft (1,784), Bury St Edmunds (1,029), Felixstowe (247), Haverhill (161), Mildenhall (145), Leiston (138), Beccles (123), Stowmarket (100), Sudbury (90), Woodbridge (85), Halesworth (68), Newmarket (32), Needham Market (26) and Kessingland (13).