Hundreds of knives were handed in to police stations across the Thames Valley last month as part of a national campaign.

Knife surrender bins were set up in 16 police stations across the area for a week from Tuesday, September 18, with a total of 733 weapons handed in.

This is a huge increase compared to February’s campaign – during which 172 knives were collected.

‘Knife arch’ metal detectors were also put in place at busy train stations and educational visits were carried out at schools, colleges and businesses in a bid to tackle knife crime.

Officers also worked with police cadets under the age of 18 to carry out test purchases across the Thames Valley.

During one of the operations in Oxford a knife was sold to a minor seven out of 10 times, so police provided retailers with advice.

Chief Inspector Helen Roberts, the officer responsible for coordinating Operation Sceptre at Thames Valley Police, said: “Operation Sceptre is part of our ongoing proactive work to reduce knife crime across the Thames Valley. The success of last month’s knife surrender has resulted in a large volume of knives being removed from the streets.

“This work demonstrates our continued efforts to deliver a number of activities to reduce the threat of knife crime, protect our local communities and raise awareness of the dangers involved.

“It is great to see that the public have supported this campaign so positively, helping us to tackle knife crime. It is clear from these numbers that the public feels increasingly confident that disposing of their knives will have a positive impact on their community.

“If you need to report a knife related crime to the Police, please report it to us online via our website, call 101 or dial 999 in an emergency if there is an immediate danger to life.”