Britain's blade epidemic laid bare: Samurai swords, zombie knives and machetes ...

Horrifying new photographs show the full extent of a country-wide knife amnesty with thousands handed into police forces across Britain.

Images show bins of blades collected during the national event which ran between March 11 and 17.

Many forces saw their biggest ever haul of weapons handed in, with banned butterfly knives, samurai swords and designer blades left in special bins.

The amnesty was part of a national campaign, Operation Sceptre, run by police forces across the country to reduce the number of illegal knives in circulation.

Picture of knives collected by Mildenhall Police force this week from Operation Sceptre

Picture of knives collected by Mildenhall Police force this week from Operation Sceptre

Humberside Police collected in these knives, including many with footlong blades or bigger

Humberside Police collected in these knives, including many with footlong blades or bigger

The Yorkshire force also collected in more than 100 smaller blades as part of the amnesty

The Yorkshire force also collected in more than 100 smaller blades as part of the amnesty

Humberside also published this image showing other bladed weapons handed in during the amnesty - including seven full-sized swords

Humberside also published this image showing other bladed weapons handed in during the amnesty - including seven full-sized swords

South Wales Police collected in a samurai sword alongside knives and cleavers in Op Sceptre

South Wales Police collected in a samurai sword alongside knives and cleavers in Op Sceptre

Coloured kitchen knives and heavy meat cleavers were among the blades collected by Lowestoft Police during Operation Sceptre

Coloured kitchen knives and heavy meat cleavers were among the blades collected by Lowestoft Police during Operation Sceptre

It was set up after most forces saw increases in the number of knife-related incidents over the past three years.

Hertfordshire Police alone saw 680 blades dumped in marked wheelie bins at police stations including Hatfield (216), Stevenage (105) and Watford (78).

The haul included swords, military knives, knuckle dusters and a large amount of kitchen knives.

Other bins saw 250 blades surrendered in Potters Bar, at St Albans Civic Centre and Waltham Cross.

The bin put out by Thames Valley Police outside their High Wycombe police station saw these heavy-duty kitchen knives handed in

The bin put out by Thames Valley Police outside their High Wycombe police station saw these heavy-duty kitchen knives

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