The Knife Amnesty Bin in orange outside an office building.
Blog:

Stop Knife Crime With The Knife Amnesty Bin

December 8, 2023

In June 2023, it was officially reported that there were 50,833 police-recorded offences caused by a knife or sharp weapon in the last 12 months. This has led to a 5% increase in knife crime when compared to the previous year. 

Recent statistics all indicate that knife crime is on the rise, so processes that are currently in place to prevent knife crime are more important than ever.

In this article, we’ll be exploring these initiatives and how our Knife Amnesty Bin can make a difference in stopping knife crime in the UK.

Why is knife crime on the rise in the UK?

2019/20 saw up to 54,000 cases of knife crime. The following year, this decreased to 48,000 and would ultimately rise to 50,833 by June 2023. Despite the fluctuations, it’s clear the country is facing a knife crime epidemic. 

But why is knife crime increasing? 

It’s not easy to pinpoint one distinct cause for the rise in knife crime these last few years. But Patrick Green, the Chief Executive of The Binskella Trust, looks to the pandemic as one of the primary causes. Studies show that knife crime among teenagers has risen more than any other age group and can be attributed to vulnerabilities in young people caused by the pandemic. 

And with no shortage of London-based gangs, it’s perhaps no coincidence that vulnerable and impressionable young people are being influenced in an environment that promotes such crimes.

The Knife Amnesty Bin

In 2013, Wybone would receive a visit from Lancashire Police following their concerns about knife crime in the area. With an introduction to Wybone, Lancashire Police would work with our Design team to create a unit where people could safely dispose of knives.

Over the years, the Knife Amnesty Bin has been reworked in line with customer feedback and our passion to redefine our products to improve usability, reliability and security, three key features that are pivotal to the Knife Amnesty Bin. 

To produce a bin with great longevity and durability, we knew we wanted to use galvanised steel in its manufacturing and add a protective barrier using powder coating. This makes the bin resistant to rust, corrosion and abrasions. 

Initially, the Knife Amnesty Bin was manufactured with a hasp and staple fastener, allowing customers to provide their own padlock. Despite positive reviews of this design, Churches Together and Harehills voiced their concerns about the ability of the public to gain forced entry by breaking the hasp or picking the lock. 

When it comes to our products, security is always of the utmost importance to us, especially with the Knife Amnesty Bin. To maximise security, we fixed two internal heavy-duty lock bolts, making it near impossible to gain unauthorised access. These internal locks prevent any tampering, and our discreet key access is unrecognisable, preventing glue, picking tools, or other means from being used to break in. You can also find these types of locks used for garage doors.

Like all our other galvanised steel litter bins, these units are powder coated in your choice of RAL colour, providing additional protection against scuffs and abrasions. The bin also has a one-way chute system to easily dispose of knives but prevents the public from opening the chute to take them out. Earlier this year, TikTok footage emerged of a knife bin full to the brim, allowing anyone to open the chute and take out a knife. Our one-way chute system prevents this issue. 

This unit also comes with an optional A4 poster frame that can be used as a knife crime poster to further encourage the public to throw away their sharp weapons and keep them out of sight.

TikTok video showing an overflowing knife bin where the public can easily grab knives from the opening slit.  

The potential of the Knife Amnesty Bin

Many of our knife bins have been sent down to London and have been met with moderate success. Local councils and police stations have found large numbers of knives safely deposited and collected by the authorities, making the streets that bit safer. 

Although our Knife Amnesty Bins won’t eradicate knife crime in the country, we continue to believe that they can be a focal point for reducing knife crime rates and can work in tandem with initiatives and trusts powered by the same cause. 

The Ben Kinsella Trust is one such initiative that was built after the tragic death of 16-year-old Ben Kinsella, who was a victim of London knife crime in 2008. The trust says enough is enough, and works to educate young people on the dangers and consequences of knife crime and influence them to make choices that keep them safe, all done through interactive workshops. 

We believe the Knife Amnesty Bin has a place in trusts like these, to help make people aware that there are trusted, safe areas to dispose of knives in public areas.

The Wybone Knife Amnesty Bin

Where can you find knife bins?

You can often find knife bins by local police stations and community centres. Many police jurisdictions (like Lancashire and Manchester to name a few) pinpoint exactly where you can find knife bins in the local area, our Knife Amnesty Bin being one of them. Police forces across the UK also run their own campaigns to stop knife crime. Manchester Police have 13 amnesty bins in recognition of #foreveramnesty, a mission to reduce knife crime in Greater Manchester which has seen great success. 

Leicestershire Police created the #LivesNotKnives campaign with the same aim of preventing knife crime in the area, and collaborating with Violence Reduction Network to further spread their cause. 

Tackling knife crime is very much on the police’s radar, which makes our Knife Amnesty Bin one of our most valued products.

Knife bin locations around Greater Manchester

Rounding things off

Although initiatives are in place to stop knife crime throughout the country, it’s still a prevalent issue as we enter 2024. At Wybone, we’re big on shouting about our products if we truly believe they can drive social change. To date, our Knife Amnesty Bins have seen great success and we’re always keen to push these out across the UK as we continue to aid in the fight to stop knife crime.

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