More than 400 knives were surrendered in Hertfordshire during Operation Sceptre, a week of action against knife crime which concluded on Sunday, May 21.

Among the 437 knives surrendered were swords, hunting knives, machetes, and a variety of pocket and kitchen knives.

156 knives were surrendered in Hertsmere, 143 in Broxbourne, 72 in Three Rivers, 33 in Stevenage, 29 in Hatfield, three in Watford and one in East Herts.

The amnesty began on Monday, May 15, part of a week of action designed to reduce the number of illegal knives in circulation.

Due to an increase in concerns about knife crime across the country in recent years, regular knife amnesties are being carried out, which provide an opportunity to raise awareness and give advice about the risks of carrying a knife in public.

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As well as the amnesty, the week included engagement events with young people in schools and public areas, and visits to retailers to ensure they are adhering to laws regarding knife sales to those under 18.

Knife detection operations, including covert and high visibility patrols and knife sweeps were also conducted at locations across Hertfordshire

Inspector Emma Bilsdon, from Hertfordshire Constabulary’s Prevention First team, which led the campaign, said: “There is always a great response from local residents during our weeks of action and we always get lots of positive feedback from all the young people we speak to as part of our activities.

“The Prevention First approach we take in Hertfordshire means that we ensure that everybody understands the consequences and the penalties associated with knife crime.

"By working with local schools, colleges, charities and councils, we steer young people towards positive life choices.

"We help them to understand the dangers knives pose, as well as ensure that knives are not readily available, whether online, in shops or passed around in the community.”