Nearly 7,000 weapons have been handed in as part of a knife amnesty campaign.
A total of 6,897 – including one BB gun and a pellet gun – have been collected from amnesty bins in Clacton, Colchester, Chelmsford, Braintree and Basildon since the initiative was launched in January 2015.
The bins are provided by weapons awareness charity Only Cowards Carry, working in partnership with Essex Police, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex, and local councils.
The blades are sent to the British Ironwork Centre, which is transforming surrendered weapons collected from across the country into an angel sculpture as part of its Save a Life, Surrender Your Knife project.
The Knife Angel statue will be a memorial created with the support of police forces and the Home Office as a monument against violence.
Only Cowards Carry also hope to commission their own sculpture, in the shape of a feather, to be made from knives collected as part of the amnesty campaign.
Chief Superintendent Ewen Wilson said: “A substantial number of lethal weapons have already been taken off our streets through this initiative.
“If amnesties persuade even one person to think twice about carrying a knife and to get rid of it, then they are a valuable tool in making Essex an even safer county.
“They also provide a way for law abiding members of the public to get rid of knives they no longer need in way that guarantees they will never end up in the wrong hands.
“The chances of most of us being a victim of knife crime are very low just a one in 1,515 chance.
“But even one victim is too many and we will continue to take a tough stance on dealing with those caught carrying or using knives, and working with our partners to help people understand that carrying a knife is not the answer to any problem.
“However, the public also have a vital role in helping us, as the more information we have, the easier it is for us to stop these crimes from happening.
“I would urge anyone with information to contact us directly on 101 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Caroline Shearer, of Only Cowards Carry, said: “We are very proud that our amnesty bins are a great success.
“Working alongside Essex Police, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex and local councils, we have managed to take thousands of weapons off the streets.
“However, this is not the end. It is the beginning of safer communities.
“We all have a responsibility to protect our towns, our streets, our homes, our neighbours, our colleagues and especially our families.
“This is not going to be a single-handed mission. Everyone has to, and is, pulling together.
“This is a continuous campaign that is not time restricted.
“We all deserve to be safe so thank you Essex for your support.
“Our funds are limited and any organisation that would like to sponsor a bin or education in their area can contact us on 01255 428744.
Susannah Hancock, chief executive of the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) for Essex, said: “We at the OPCC have been proud to financially support the tireless work of Caroline Shearer and Only Cowards Carry in promoting knife crime education and awareness.
“The sheer number of bladed weapons collected from across Essex so far is testament to the fact that their powerful and compelling message about knife crime really is being heard by communities across Essex.
“The OPCC will continue to support Caroline and her charity as they drive forward the knife crime education agenda locally and no doubt nationally.
The maximum penalty for an adult carrying a knife is four years in prison and a fine of £5,000. The law also changed last July to target repeat offenders.
Adults who are convicted more than once of being in possession of a blade face a minimum six month prison sentence and a maximum of four years. Young offenders, aged 16 and 17, face a minimum four month detention and training order.
Knife Amnesty Bin Locations:
Only Cowards Carry Charity Shop, 12 Jackson Road, Clacton
Colchester Police Station, 10 Southway, Colchester
Chelmsford Police Station, New Street, Chelmsford
Braintree Police Station, Blyths Meadow, Braintree
Opposite Chalvedon Social Club, Mill Green, Chalvedon Square, Pitsea