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Alarm at knife hidden by children's play area

Police urging public to be vigilant after large blade found in plastic bag in park

Dan Cooper

Dan Cooper

dan.cooper@newburynews.co.uk

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01635 886632

Alarm at knife hidden by children's play area

A LARGE kitchen knife has been found hidden in a plastic bag near a Newbury playground.

A shocked Newbury woman came across the blade when picking up litter alongside the Northcroft Park children’s play area.

Monica Howgate, 38, placed the knife among the rubbish she had collected and photographed it to show its size.

She then put it back in the plastic bag and handed it over to an officer at Newbury police station.

Mrs Howgate said: “I asked the officer whether other knives had been found like this and I was told: ‘Yes, sadly.’

“I’m worried because it’s clear the public are not always aware of what is happening around them.

“It seems these knives are being hidden in secret places so that the owner is not caught in possession and are available when needed.

“It’s frightening.

“It’s a warning that knife crime is not limited to London and other big cities. It can be happening right under our  noses and we don’t know about it.

“We all need to be vigilant and to help the police whenever we can.”

Responding to Mrs Howgate’s discovery, Thames Valley Police encouraged the public to be alert and help them fight knife crime in their area.

A spokeswoman said: “Keeping people safe is everyone’s responsibility. By working together we are able to achieve better knowledge-sharing to disrupt and prevent this type of crime and safeguard [potential] victims.

“We are working with partners across the Thames Valley to reduce the threat of knife crime and its impact on communities.

“Members of the public can help by being our eyes and ears in the community. If you think someone you know is involved in knife crime, you can report your suspicions to Thames Valley Police on 101 or via our website.

“Additionally, should you find a knife in a public place, please take it to your nearest police station or call 101.

“Alternatively, you can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

“Tackling violent crime and exploitation of young people is a priority for Thames Valley Police.”

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