CHURCHES have joined the fight against knife crime by welcoming knife amnesty bins, giving people who want to hand in weapons but are afraid to go to a police station somewhere safe to do so.

St James Church in Devizes, along with others across the county, has joined Wiltshire Police's two-week Operation Sceptre campaign, trying to get knives and other weapons off the streets in a bid to stop people having access to lethal weapons.

Rev Keith Brindle said: “We have always shown our support for initiatives like these but here at St James we wanted to do more.

“To encourage more people to dispose of knives safely we knew we could help by offering our churches as amnesty bin locations.

“We want people to think of churches as a safe space to hand over their knives anonymously, as it is an alternative to having to walk into a police station which may be hard for some people.”

Knives and bladed weapons can be left in the bin at the Church, which is next to The Crammer in Devizes, when it is open: between 12-7pm on Monday, 12-4pm on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and 9am-12pm on Saturdays, until September 29.

Angus Macpherson, Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon, said: “As we have seen in the news, knife crime wrecks lives - not only the life of the victim but their families and friends.

“Directly and indirectly there are many people whose lives can be destroyed just because of one incident.

“The success of last year’s amnesty means this is great way to encourage people to do the right thing and hand in any illegal weapons. Even one knife off the streets is one less that can be used to harm.

“Wiltshire is a safe county and together we can continue to keep it that way.”