Weapons collectors and historians have been warned about impending law changes which will make it illegal to own samurai swords and flip knives.
Changes to the Offensive Weapons Act 2019 are expected later this year, and will mean items such as curved swords, with a blade larger than 50cm, and flip knives will no longer be legal to have in the home.
Specialist detectives from Northumbria Police's Crime Department have been making the visits to weapons collectors, historians and tradespeople to prevent them falling foul of the new legislation.
To help collectors under the changes and avoid risking prosecution, firearms intelligence officers have recovered 17 knives and eight samurai swords during almost 40 engagement visits as part of Operation Sceptre.
This was is in addition to more than 200 bladed items voluntarily handed in by members of the public for safe disposal.
Police officers say they are determined to help educate the public about the legal changes before it's too late.
Detective Constable Colin Davidson said: "We are not trying to criminalise people here, but trying to help those who legally own a range of items avoid inadvertently falling foul of the law.
"We know there are a lot of responsible collectors and enthusiasts in our force area who have a genuine interest in keeping knives, swords and other antique weapons and would never dream of using them to harm another person.
"However, changes to the Offensive Weapons Act could see a lot of well-intentioned people risking prosecution which is why we have started delivering these visits and are determined to make sure people understand exactly what these changes are and how they could be affected."
Detective Inspector Sally MacDonald added: "Every blade we can dispose of safely is one less which has the potential to fall into the wrong hands and cause irreversible damage.
"So far this scheme has achieved great results and that’s a testament to the hard work, planning and preparation of our officers, who are determined to help prevent serious violence in our communities.
"We've had really positive feedback so far with those visited really appreciative of the lengths officers have gone to in order to prevent them inadvertently breaking the law, and explaining the bigger picture behind these national changes."
The date the new legislation takes effect is still to be confirmed but more information and updates will be provided at https://www.gov.uk/buying-carrying-knives.