NORTHUMBRIA Police are launcing a new campaign to save lives by asking the general public to surrender any unwanted and unused knives or sharp items they may have.

OpSceptre is the national launch of UK police's new campaign which is aimed at reducing the devestation caused by knife crime.

The campaign is asking residents to get rid of any unused or unwanted knives or sharp objects in their possession which could 'endanger life in the wrong hands'.

As part of the campaign, several surrender bins will be available for the public around Northumbria's stations including; Forth Banks, Middle Engine Lane, Southwick, Bedlington, South Shields, Gateshead and Hexham. 

The new campaign will also see officers carrying out targeted activity including educational inputs and searches as part of the ongoing work to tackle knife crime and keep communities safe.

Speaking about the campaign, a force spokesman said: "Thankfully here in the Northumbria Police area, we see lower levels of knife crime than comparative areas of the country.

"However, it remains one of our top priorities, and we remain proactive in our approach to ensure this region remains one of the safest places to live, work and visit.

"Our officers work all year round with partners to reduce the impact of knife crime and educate about the potentially devastating consequences of carrying a knife.

"The surrender bins encourage people to safely dispose of knives so that everyone can help make sure no family has to face the harmful impact knife crime can have.

"These could be old kitchen knives, antiques found in an attic, or something used for fishing or hunting.

"This is a way to dispose of items safely, so they never run this risk of falling into the wrong hands.

"Our officers will also be executing warrants, carrying out searches, seizing harmful weapons and taking proactive action against anyone caught in possession of a knife."

Police advise anyone surrending items to check their nearest police stations opening times and to be aware that the surrender bins are now in place until May 22.