Four new knife bins have been installed in Swindon as part of a new police initiative attempting to crack down on knife crime.

It allows for members of the public to surrender weapons as part of Operation Sceptre, which was launched on Monday.

Leader of the council Jim Robbins, Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon Philip Wilkinson and police officers attended Broadgreen Community Centre where one of the bins has been installed.Swindon Advertiser:

The bins are also located at Liden Library, Pinehurst Community Centre and Walcot Dome.

Knife crime and youth violence is a particularly hot topic at the moment with members of the community concerned with a rise in incidents over recent months.

Acting Inspector Tristan Winter, from Swindon Central South Neighbourhood Team, said that a "stick and carrot" approach will be used by Wiltshire Police.

Wiltshire Police are hoping to educate young people of the dangers of carrying a knife and the harm that they are putting both themselves and others in when they do so.

They also hope to understand why young people may be urged to carry a knife so that the correct provisions can be put in place to prevent the problem before it happens.

A/Insp Winter also explained that preventative measures are always preferred and said: “We need to carry on trying hard to identify the triggers and intervening before the young people are getting to the stage where they’re involved in crime."

However, if these type of crimes are committed, there will be consequences, the officer said.

He added: “We don’t want young people in the criminal justice system but if we must, we will.”Swindon Advertiser:

Addressing concerns from the community over the safety of the bins, New Swindon Hub Commander, Superintendent Guy Elkins, reassured the public and said: “The bins are extremely secure and they are tamper-proof, my officers are routinely checking the bins and they are emptied routinely.

“I think our communities are right to be concerned, as a resident within Swindon myself, it is something we think about but I want to reassure our communities that police are challenging this."

Meanwhile, Mr Wilkinson said "there are a lot of potential reasons" why there has been an uptick in the number of knife crime offences.

“I think one of them is that young people have been taken off the streets, they’ve not been at school, they’ve been locked up at home as a consequence of covid and there are many young people who would have been educated at school in terms of being more socially responsible such as not carrying knives but they haven’t had that education.”