Cllr Campbell, a member of Newtownabbey District Policing Partnership, said:”The increasing use of knives in serious crime has been a matter of great public concern. It seems that for many the use of such a dangerous weapon is the only way to settle a dispute, with the result often being serious injury and even death.
“The knife amnesties have created a successful blueprint for the future. I hope that this type of scheme can be used again to further eradicate violent crime.
“I was initially a sceptic of a knife amnesty but there have been evident successes including heightened public awareness of this issue. In particular, this was part of a year-long strategy aimed at a reduction in crimes involving the use of knives. This strategy met with considerable success in earlier in the year when the Police received over 900 potential weapons.
“It may be for some that in the heat of the moment a weapon is drawn and the consequences of such action are only examined when it is too late. It is important that effective measures are taken to remove knives from such common usage. The amnesty has been a good way to get rid of these lethal weapons, but this scheme must also be backed up with strong policing and tough sentences for those found guilty of knife attacks.
“The value in taking such weapons off the street should not be underestimated. I welcome the fact that for those who are not willing to comply with the amnesty offer the Police have now acquired the use of metal detectors to stop and search anyone believed to be carrying an offensive weapon. I welcome the Government’s intention to get tough on knife users and the new powers anticipated to prevent the sale of such weapons to people under the age of 18.”