MORE than 1,000 knives have been handed in to police stations across Greater Manchester since the start of the year as part of a campaign.

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) launched the Forever Amnesty project this year with drop-off point bins set up in 12 locations across the region.

In July the force revealed that the number of blades that had been deposited in the bins since February was 554 knives.

And the latest count has found that hundreds more knives have been removed from Greater Manchester’s streets.

GMP Superintendent Chris Downey said: “We are delighted, and a little surprised with the results, as we didn’t expect so many knives to be deposited as we didn't push the campaign during lockdown.

"Knife crime and serious violence has no place in our communities, and it will not be tolerated.

"The Forever Amnesty is just one of the many steps we are taking in our fight against knife crime.

"Our aim is to understand why people are carrying knives and work to dispel the myth that knives are essential to keeping you safe.

"Through the Greater Manchester Violence Reduction Unit – GMP, local authorities, youth services, health, education and schools, as well as other criminal justice partners, are working together to embed a community-led approach to prevention and enforcement.

"A large part of our work is out in our communities with young people, educating them on the impact knives can have not just on individuals, but on families and communities.

"Carrying a knife often has life-changing consequences, such as being expelled from school, being sent to prison and sadly, loss of life.

"Fear is often one of the main reasons for people carrying knives, as they believe that a knife will protect them, but actually, even if someone doesn’t plan on using the weapon, their chances of becoming a victim of knife crime increases just by carrying it.

"With this, I would encourage people from all over Greater Manchester to see the Forever Amnesty as the perfect opportunity to dispose of any knives or weapons, as no good can come from carrying one - please get rid of them."

The Forever Amnesty, a project run by GMP and the British Ironwork Centre, was launched on a permanent basis following the success of last September’s amnesty and in further efforts to reduce knife crime across Greater Manchester.

Through Greater Manchester Violence Reduction Unit, GMP works with partners such as UK Border Force and the Royal Mail to identify weapons imported to the region.