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New knife bin for Harwich as new legislation comes in

The VVU is pleased to have funded a new Knife Bin for Harwich.

The knife bin at the Dovercourt and Harwich Hub, in the High Street, joins 13 other knife bins across Essex where knives and other bladed articles can be deposited safely.

The knife bins are joint funded by the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex, Essex Police, and the VVU.

Sharon Alexander, chief officer at CVS Tendring said: “We were approached by Essex Police to ask if we could house a knife bin at our Dovercourt and Harwich Hub, and we were pleased to be able to support this initiative.”

The new knife bin at the hub in Harwich High Street replaces the one previously sited at Harwich Park Pavilion in Barrack Lane.

Essex Police empties the knife bins regularly, with the contents taken to a secure location to be destroyed.

The new knife bin comes as last month the Government introduced a new ban on zombie style knives and machetes that have no practical use and will give police more powers to seize knives in a bid to crack down on serious violence.

The campaign to tackle zombie knives has been supported by a range of partner organisations across Southend, Essex and Thurrock, including Roger Hirst, PFCC and Chair of the Violence & Vulnerability Partnership.  New legislation will be introduced in response to the public consultation that was launched in April this year.

This includes:

  • Making machetes and knives that are designed to look intimidating and threatening, known as zombie-style knives, illegal.
  • Increasing the maximum penalty for the importation, manufacturing, possession and sale of these newly proscribed weapons from six months to two years, as will the maximum penalty for sales to under-18s.
  • Police will also be given new powers to seize and destroy knives found on private premises if there are reasonable grounds to believe the blade will be used in a serious crime. Previously, police could not seize knives found during a search on a property, even if they had suspicions of criminal use.

In addition, the Home Office will introduce a new offence for possession of bladed articles with the intention to endanger life or cause fear of violence, and will ask the Sentencing Council to consider amending sentencing guidelines for the possession of bladed articles and offensive weapons so these are treated more seriously than possession of a non-prohibited weapons.

Residents in Essex are encouraged to safely dispose of knives in one of the county’s knife bins. There are 15 across Essex which allow weapons to be disposed of safely and anonymously.