A NEW knife amnesty bin has been welcomed with a mixture of “relief and horror”.

Colchester’s second Save a Life Knife Bank will be permanently installed by Vineyard Street car park in the near future.

The first, by Colchester Police Station, has seen hundreds of knives, machetes and two guns deposited.

Toni Knights, from charity Only Cowards Carry, said: “It is very important to have this.

“When we last emptied the other one there were 421 knives found in there.

“It proves people are using them and now we have another close to the town centre.

“There is a problem and this is taking knives off the streets.”

Just last month there were running knife battles in Colchester town centre resulting in three stabbings early on a Saturday evening.

Three people were arrested and a state of emergency was launched in the town to try to bring things under control.

Tim Young, councillor responsible for community safety, attended the launch .

He said: “We are very supportive of Only Cowards Carry and another bin means more knives off the streets.”

He described his “mixed reaction of relief and horror” when told how many are being deposited adding “it is the fact there are so many knives out there”.

“I wish there was not a need but the bins have been very successful.

“The statistics show young men carrying knives are more likely to be a victim.

“Don’t carry a knife. If you think you are in danger report it to the police.”

Essex Police partnership officer PC Michael Lee said: “We have to do something in light of some incidents in the town.

“The bins have been extremely successful.

“Some people may not want to come to the police station and this location is easily accessible.

“It is our job to keep the streets safe and we will do everything we can to show carrying knives will not be tolerated.”