A CONCERNED member of the public handed in a huge hunting knife to police after finding it hidden under a bush.

The man found the knife in bushes in Chittock Gate, Basildon.

Knowing that Essex Police were carrying out a knife crackdown throughout last week, the man handed it into Basildon police station for it to be forensically analysed and safely disposed of.

An Essex Police spokesman said: “We will destroy this knife after it was found by member of the public near to a cricket pitch in Basildon.

“We were handed the weapon – also sometimes known as a zombie knife – by a concerned resident who discovered it in bushes close to Mopsies Park last Thursday.

“The man handed the knife into Basildon police station after hearing about the our crackdown on knife crime under Operation Sceptre.”

“Zombie knives” as the name suggests are inspired by blades frequently seen in horror films, particularly “zombie apocalypse” movies.

They are regularly marketed as collectors items and can be purchased online for as little as £10.

Coming in bright colours and emblazoned with words like “zombie killer” and “slayer” the large knives look far more intimidating than a normal knife.

A national week of action, under the codename Operation Sceptre, was set up last week to tackle knife crime and officers aimed to target and disrupt offenders who carry bladed weapons.

The Echo reported yesterday how a 15-year-old boy accused of carrying a 14-inch knife was arrested when he was stopped in Woodgrange Drive, Southend, last Tuesday.

He is due to appear at Basildon Youth Court, on Tuesday, August 8.

People can safely dispose of knives by dropping them into amnesty bins which have been placed outside Southend Police Station or outside Chalvedon shops, in Chalvedon Square, Pitsea.

Information about knife crime and individuals who are carrying blades can be shared with Essex Police via 101, or where there is the immediate prospect of a violent incident, 999 should always be called.