§ Mr. Greg Knight
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he intends taking to institute a knives amnesty in England and Wales; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Douglas Hogg
Building on the success of the campaigns which a number of police forces have held already we have asked forces throughout England and Wales to run campaigns during the period 27 June to 11 July inclusive to encourage people to dispose of knives and other offensive weapons.
The casual carrying of knives in public is totally unacceptable and the campaign will be an opportunity for people to dispose of their knives and other weapons safely. I would urge them to do so. When the Criminal Justice Bill becomes law a person who carries a knife, other than a small folding pocket-knife, in a public place and cannot show good reason for carrying it will commit a criminal office.
As I indicated in a reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Bury St. Edmunds (Sir E. Griffiths) on 17 May at column 376, a separate amnesty for firearms will be held for one month from 1 September this year.