THIS large meat cleaver was found on railings next to a children’s park.

Police were called to Limetree Avenue in Benfleet to properly dispose of the blade after a resident found it next to a t-shirt.

It is not known who the knife belonged to and officers are now urging the owner, or anyone with information about the menacing blade, to come forward.

A spokesman for the Castle Point and Rochford community policing team said that somebody could easily have hurt themselves or others if they had picked it up.

He said: “This nasty looking weapon was left on a railing, anyone could have picked it up and hurt themselves or others, if so minded.

“There really is no excuse to be carrying something like this around, it is extremely intimidating and can cause serious harm. Anyone caught carrying this about without lawful excuse, may be arrested and prosecuted.

“We have not received any reports of weapons being brandished in the immediate area, so it’s presence is a bit of mystery.

“The knife has been preserved for forensics if required, the shirt was soaking wet so there will be limited forensic opportunities on this.

“If you have mislaid it, please contact us on 101 quoting incident 0435 of September 30 so we can have a chat.”

It is an offence to be in possession of a pointed or bladed article in a public place including folding knives if the cutting edge exceeds three inches.

Castle Point councillor Wendy Goodwin said: “Of course I am totally against anything relating to knife crime, I don’t think its necessary for anyone to be carrying a knife.

“Without tracing the DNA there isn’t a lot the police can do. If there is anything we can do to help them with their search, I am fully behind it.

“If anyone finds one out in the open of hidden away, I would like to urge them to call police.”