Essex Police has destroyed two tonnes of seized and surrendered knives in the past year as residents are encouraged to dispose of bladed weapons in the force's knife bins.

In the 12 months to January, officers shredded 23,840 weapons and sharp-bladed implements, to put them beyond criminal use.

The best place to dispose of knives and other sharp objects is safely in a knife bin, located in every district council area in Essex.

Detective Chief Inspector Ian Hughes of the serious violence unit said: “Carrying knives ruins lives and our message to young people who may be concerned about knife crime is simple.

“It is extremely worrying to hear about people who have been injured or even killed with a knife – but carrying a knife yourself does not make you any safer and in fact can put you more at risk.

“We know that carrying a knife in public, in any situation, will only make matters worse.

“The reality in Essex is that a small number of people are carrying knives, but that number is always one too many.

“It is absolutely vital, if you know someone who does carry a knife, you report it to us. Or, if you would prefer, speak to a trusted family member or a teacher.

“Alternatively there are ways of making a report entirely anonymously, through charities like Crimestoppers.”

In the year to date, the force recorded 1,519 "knife-enabled" offences across the county, recording 112 fewer offences than in the 12 months to April 2023.

This is a drop of 7 per cent year-on-year and 7.5 per cent compared to pre-Covid levels.

Residents can search "knife bins" on the Essex Police website to find their nearest one.