As the nation faces up to an unprecedented series of brutal knife attacks in London Thames Valley police have revealed that their recent week of action saw 686 potentially lethal weapons handed in.

The force's week of action ended just days before a spate of apparently random attacks around London that shocked the country.

The campaign saw bins placed into 16 police stations across the Thames Valley and 686 knives and blades were voluntarily handed in.

Slough and Maidenhead were among the stations that housed the bins for knives and bladed weapons to be dropped in.

A similar campaign in 2018 saw 733 surrendered.

The force also ran several other proactive activities over the national knife crime week of action. This included the use of knife arches across train stations and schools, educational visits, test purchase operations, weapon sweeps and warrants.

Superintendent Rebecca Mears said: “This is a great result and it is encouraging to see that the public have continued to support this campaign so positively. I am pleased that so many knives and other bladed articles are now off the streets, thanks to members of the public voluntarily coming forward and surrendering them.

“This has built well on the previous phase of Operation Sceptre, and we look forward to continuing this in the next phase later this year. Tackling violent crime and the exploitation of young people remains a priority for Thames Valley Police

“We continue to work collaboratively with our partners across Thames Valley to reduce the threat of knife crime and its impact on our communities. By working together, we are able to better share knowledge to disrupt and prevent this type of crime and safeguard victims.

“If you need to report a knife related crime to the police, please report it to us online via our website, call 101 or dial 999 in an emergency if there is an immediate danger to life.”