A KNIFE amnesty is being launched in East Lancashire.

Police will be setting up knife bins to enable residents to get safely dispose of weapons in Burnley, Blackburn, Chorley and Colne.

Officers said the bins will be positioned so knives can be disposed of anonymously during the week long amnesty.

Ch Insp Mark Baines said while knife crime in Lancashire is no worse than many other parts of the country, we are keen to stress that any incident involving a knife could have tragic consequences and destroy lives.

He said: "Too many families have been affected by knife crime with even one person being stabbed being one too many.

"The consequences of carrying and using a knife can be devastating and potentially life-threatening.

“I would appeal directly to people that if you know someone who is carrying a knife, don't keep silent. Report it.

“The law is simple - it is illegal to carry a knife, even if it belongs to someone else.

“Anyone who is found carrying a knife and is intending to use it as a weapon even in self-defence can be arrested, go to court and receive a police record or even a prison sentence of up to four years and an unlimited fine.

"The knives need to be safely wrapped in tape and newspaper before putting in the bins. I

"If anyone is in possession of a knife and is unsure what to do about it, I would urge them to take this opportunity to dispose of it anonymously and safely.”

As part of Operation Sceptre officers will also carry out test purchase operations to ensure that retailers are not selling knives to people under the age of 18.

Ch Insp Baines said: “Lancashire police has a zero tolerance policy toward possession of knives in public and we take reports of knife crime very seriously.

"We will act on all intelligence received in a bid to prevent people losing loved ones and to detain those who intend to commit acts of violence using knives."

Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw said: “ If you own a dangerous knife please take this opportunity to get rid of it safely and anonymously."

Anyone with information about knife crime should call police on 101.