People buy knives. Sometimes for personal protection, sometimes to injure others, but most often for a variety of lawful activities from carpet laying, camping, carving the Sunday roast and the preparation of meat and vegetables.
When people want to rid themselves of their eventually unwanted knives, Slough Council says they must not be put in wheelie bins, grey for normal rubbish or red for recycling. They must be taken to the council's waste transfer station in Chalvey operated by Enterprise Ltd.
Not many people are prepared to drive to Chalvey. Even less are prepared to catch a bus and walk to the Chalvey dump or pay for an expensive taxi journey there and back. So where do Slough people, particularly the elderly, disabled and the handicapped, get rid of their old knives ?
A few years ago at a Slough Police Community Consultative Meeting, I passionately asked for community knife bins. Being next to Greater London where knife crime and death by stabbing is a very serious problem, I told the police it would be sensible to have in each local area a knife bin where youths and young adults could dispose of knives they no longer want to carry around. The police inspector chairing the meeting declared knives are not a problem in Slough.
If knives were not a problem, as the inspector alleged, none of the police would wear stab-proof vests.
Safely disposing of unwanted knives is a continuing issue in Slough. Households, youths and young adults should have a readily available and convenient place to get rid of knives. The fewer knives on our streets or left laying around, the safer it is for everyone.
Community knife bins are, I believe, a commonsense answer. So Thames Valley Police and Slough Council, how about both of you genuinely working together to make our borough safer? The public issue of safely disposing of unwanted knives needs a realistic solution now - not after someone is killed or seriously injured.