THE death of Jordan Taylor has prompted Wiltshire Police to launch a county-wide knife amnesty to crack down on crime involving blades.

After Hayden Maslen, 19, was sentenced to 20 months in prison for possessing a knife during the incident in which Mr Taylor died, the force has decided to begin a campaign so people can hand in knives without fear of prosecution.

Since the trial ended last week, the number of police patrols around Trowbridge has increased, including weapon sweeps and intelligence led stop and searches.

Officers are already going into schools to educate pupils about the dangers of possessing knives.

Inspector Andy Fee, who is leading the campaign, and who will announce details of where weapons can be handed in soon, said: “I cannot stress the importance of this effort.

"These are lethal weapons and as the judge said in the court case, if he (Maslen) did not have the knife, Jordan Taylor would still be alive.

“That is why I am so keen to launch this county-wide knife amnesty to stop something like this from happening again.

“Since the case we have upped the number of police patrols and are working hard with the likes of the town council, Wiltshire Council, Swindon Borough Council, schools and our other partners.

“Knife crime is always at the forefront of our minds but this incident highlighted the dangers of carrying a knife and the devastating effect it has on so many lives.

“We are doing everything we can to clamp down on crimes involving knives and we feel an amnesty is the right way to go about it.

“If someone has a knife in a stop and search, we would arrest them as they cannot have one in a public place.

“Our PCSOs and youth engagement staff are going to schools and telling youngsters about the dangers of knives and the anguish it causes to many people. One stabbing can be fatal. It is not cool to have one, it is lethal.”

Concerns have been raised by members of the public in TV show 999: What’s Your Emergency? that police are slower to respond than they used to be due to budget cuts to the force.

“We want to reassure people that we are doing everything we can to help people in need with the resources we have,” he said.

“Knife crime however has not gone up. In August last year five people were arrested for knife-related possession and this August it was two. We handle everything from cases like these to mental health and abuse victims.

“We have used additional staff to arrest more than 50 priority offenders in the last six weeks in North and West Wilts, so we are getting results.”

For more information about the campaign call 101.