A CROSS county weapons amnesty has proven to be a huge success – with hundreds of weapons now off the streets in Wrexham and Flintshire.

The Leader previously reported how police teams across the two county areas would launch an opportunity simultaneously for people to surrender up any items that could be used as a weapon they wish to dispose of safely.

The amnesty mainly focused on knife crime as attacks are no longer confined to major cities.

North Wales Police are keen for every village and town to be aware of the true scale of the crisis on our doorsteps.

Data from the Office for National Statistics data shows that the regional force alone recorded 277 offences involving a knife or a sharp weapon in 2019-20 – the latest available year of figures.

Additional data revealed how stab wound victims accounted for up to 42 admissions to hospitals in North Wales last year. This data specifically looks at wounds sustained following an assault with a sharp object in 2020.

After visiting the town centre police station in Wrexham, our reporter was shown a spread of bladed weapons – ranging from kitchen knives to samurai swords.

In total, area inspector Luke Hughes said there had been roughly 200 bladed weapons handed over in just a week – and they’re still accepting items.

He said: “We are pleased that people are using this opportunity to sensibly dispose of their blades.

“Having looked through weapons in the amnesty bin so far, I can see no real justification for someone to carry things like this on the street.

“Some things are common household items like kitchen knives, but some are clearly makeshift weapons that could cause untold harm.

“We’ve had things that look like garden sheers adapted into a small shiv-like weapon. There are large blades here as well with serrated edges – too big to be kitchen knives for cutting bread.

“We hope that by offering up these opportunities that people come to us and avoid these weapons ending up in the wrong hands.”

The scheme ran in Flintshire also - and was met with a similar positive response.

North Flintshire’s Deeside team previously ran a knife amnesty in conjunction with the Ben Kinsella Trust, Coleg Cambria and the Leader.

They report having number of knives - including a knife set from a home - handed in as part of the appeal. In all, Sgt Matt Subhacci said ten blades were safely disposed during the amnesty period.

Meanwhile, Mold-based PCSO Connor Freel explained to the Leader how dozens of weapons were deposited into their amnesty bin in South Flintshire.

He said: “Our front counter has said that a lot of the knives handed in have been older females that have sorted out their knife drawers and brought in knives they don’t use any more but there’s been a couple of machetes handed in.”