A police crackdown on knife crime has begun as a new report underlines the worrying extent of the problem in the county.

Between April 2010 and September 2018, Hertfordshire recorded an 89 per cent increase in offences involving a knife. There were 500 knife-related offences in the county last year.

With knife crime on the rise, police officers in Hertsmere are taking steps to reduce the number of dangerous weapons on the streets.

Although police say Hertsmere remains a safe place to live, latest figures by the Office for National Statistics show that Hertfordshire has had the highest increase in the East of England region – and knife crime is climbing at a steeper rate than in London.

Member of European Parliament for the eastern region Alex Mayer has called for more police funding.

She said: “Theresa May doesn’t seem to have grasped there’s a problem with knife crime but local residents do and the head of the police federation agrees we have a "national crisis".

“The Chancellor has a Spring Statement on Wednesday. Surely he should grasp the nettle and find more funding for the police before more children die.”

In an effort to minimise the risk of knife crime, a week-long knife amnesty in Hertsmere will be taking place this week.

People in Hertsmere will have the opportunity to dispose of their unwanted knives in knife bins. They will be able to surrender any knives without fear of prosecution for being in possession of the items.

Knife bins have already been used in Borehamwood a number of times.

As part of a wider campaign, Operation Sceptre, officers will be carrying out knife detection operations, test purchasing at retailers who sell knives and visiting schools to deliver talks on the dangers and consequences of carrying a knife.

Hertsmere Neighbourhood Inspector Mark Bilsdon said: “We’d especially like to see young people disarming themselves for their own safety. Hertsmere remains a very safe place to live and work and it is still only a small number of people committing knife crime.”

Knife bins will be at the following locations:

Tuesday March 12

• From 3pm and 5pm in Sainsburys in Potters Bar.

• From 10am to 11am at Bushey Golf and Country Club

• From 11.30am to 12.30pm at Phillimore recreation ground, Radlett.

Wednesday March 13

• From 3.30pm and 5.30pm at the Furzefield Centre, Potters Bar.

• From 2pm to 4pm at 96 Shenley Road, Borehamwood.

Friday March 15

• From 10am to 11am in Bushey Mill Lane – Bushey near Forest Walk (between Park Avenue and Mead Way)

• From 11.30am to 12.30pm in Watling Street in Radlett.