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Avon and Somerset Police are seeking a group of men who broke into a knife surrender box and took the bin's contents.
The bin — which was bolted to the side of the building like a Sharps Disposal Container in the doctor's office — was filled with a bunch of knives that had recently been surrendered.
What are the details?
According to a report in the U.K.'s Metro, the theft took place March 13, and the suspects were caught on a CCTV camera. Police had been collecting the knives through the surrender box as a move to promote knife control, after a "52 percent spike in knife crime" over the last year.
Just a day after local authorities installed the knife box, a group of men broke into the bin and stole all the knives.
"On the evening of March 13, the knife surrender bin in Weston was broken into by a number of people," PC Jon Biggins told the outlet. "The contents were recovered a short distance away, and the whole incident was caught on CCTV.
"We are in the process of identifying those responsible in order to bring about a prosecution," Biggins added.
The outlet reported that the Avon and Somerset Constabulary implemented the use of the knife boxes as part of 2015's "Operation Sceptre" — a nationwide effort to address knife crime. The Metro noted that about 1,000 knives have been surrendered to the knife bins over the last few years.
In 2017, U.K. law enforcement introduced bins with Cookie Monster's visage printed on them, which read, "Only Cowards Carry" to raise "weapon awareness."
In 2018, London Mayor Sadiq Khan tweeted about knife violence, writing, "No excuses: there is never a reason to carry a knife. Anyone who does will be caught, and they will feel the full force of the law."
He also implemented "knife control" to combat the crimes.
That same year, The Evening Standard reported that 21,484 people were either prosecuted or cautioned for knife offenses in England and Wales in 2018.
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