NEARLY 400 knives were handed in to police in just three months in Basildon – including samurai swords and jagged zombie knives.

A knife amnesty bin was installed outside Basildon Police Station in April, as Essex Police launched a mission to reduce knife crime in the borough.

The bin was emptied on Wednesday, revealing a huge haul of 373 knives.

Weapons included a number of large samurai swords, as well as knuckledusters, flick knives, zombie knives and a large number of domestic kitchen knives.

Deputy council leader, Kerry Smith, insisted the knife amnesty bins are a huge asset, and praised anyone who made the decision to ditch a weapon.

He said: “It is a huge number, but I think we are very lucky we have these knife bins as a resource as they are effective.

“Culturally, we have a problem these days that young people are encouraged to carry knives, whether that be through musical influences, fear of violence, or peer pressure, but these bins give them a place to dispose of them without prosecution.

“If a friend or a relative finds out they are carrying a knife, has a conversation with them and convinces them its not right, this is a place to ditch the knife without fear.

“At the end of the day, it is hundreds of knives off the streets and not being used in crimes.”

A spokesman for Basildon’s community policing team said: “Officers have been concentrating on knife crime and violence within the Basildon district which included a knife amnesty bin being put in place outside of Basildon Police Station.

“On Wednesday officers emptied the amnesty bin and a total of 373 knives were produced within a 3 month period.

“This included items such as swords, zombie knives, flick knives, a machete, knuckle dusters and domestic kitchen knives plus more.”

The amnesty bin was installed outside the station as part of the Safer Basildon Partnership.