A NEW knife bin designed to encourage the safe disposal of blades has been installed in Harwich.

The knife bin at the Dovercourt and Harwich Hub, in High Street, joins 13 other knife bins across Essex where knives and other bladed articles can be deposited.

They are funded jointly by the Office of the Essex Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, Essex Police, and the Essex Violence and Vulnerability Unit.

Sharon Alexander, chief officer at Community Voluntary Services Tendring, says: "We work closely in partnership with Essex Police on a number of projects so, when we were approached by them to ask if we could house a knife bin at our Dovercourt and Harwich Hub, we were pleased to be able to support this initiative.

"The provision of an area for the bin where residents can safely surrender knives will contribute to keeping people in the area safe."

The new knife bin at the hub in Harwich High Street replaces the one previously sited at Harwich Park Pavilion in Barrack Lane.

Essex Police empties knife bins regularly, with the contents taken to a secure location to be destroyed.

During the past year about 24,000 knives and other sharp objects and weapons, weighing a total of two tonnes, have been surrendered in knife bins across Essex.

Det Insp Clayton Ford, from the force’s serious violence unit, said: “Knife-enabled crime is falling across Essex but, of course, there is more to do to reduce the number of tragedies involving knife injuries.

“Our officers are focused on identifying offenders who use knives and will use their stop and search powers if they suspect someone is carrying one.

“We need communities to stand up and say that carrying a knife is wrong and we need people to stop carrying knives in the first place.”

Essex Police also works with anti-knife crime charity the Ben Kinsella Trust to raise awareness of the dangers of carrying a knife.

Research shows carrying a knife doesn’t offer protection, in fact it increases the likelihood that person might be stabbed.

Knife bins are also located at police stations in Clacton and Colchester.