Police seize one knife every day

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A KNIFE a day is being seized by police on Wigan’s streets, according to the latest figures.

Figures released through a Freedom of Information request from the Evening Post to Greater Manchester Police revealed that in the past three years, 915 knives have been seized by officers on Wigan’s streets - one every 1.19 days.

However, while the numbers are high, the amount of knives being seized has dropped year on year, which police say is an indication that they are getting on top of knife crime.

In 2008/09, 330 knives were seized by GMP in the borough, but last year it was down to 288.

The figures also showed that 36 handguns, 34 shotguns and 11 cross bows have also been recovered by Police in Wigan since 2009.

Supt Robert Lomas of GMP’s Wigan Division said: “These figures do not show that there are lots of weapons being carried on our streets, and encouragingly we have seen significant reductions in the number of knives seized.

“When the period April 1, 2008 to March 31, 2009 is compared with the same period in 2010/11, figures show there were 42 fewer knives seized, a drop of 13 per cent.

“This matters because knives are by far the most commonly carried weapon in the borough, and we regularly use knife detectors in town centres and stop and search powers to deter people from carrying them.

“If people are worried about knife or gun crime they should speak to their local neighbourhood policing team, whose contact details can be found on our website.

“And if anyone has information about these types of crime they should either call police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”

Last month the Wigan Evening Post revealed that 242 weapons were seized in the first 10 months of 2011.

One of their biggest hauls came on August 20 last year, when a total of 10 firearms were seized in one incident, including three shotguns and an air rifle.

On June 22, a total of nine items were taken, including a Winchester 12-gauge shotgun, a Beretta 12-gauge shotgun, a 101 Magnum gas-powered gun and three cans of pepper spray.