A woman has spoken of her shock at being turned away from a west London police station when she tried to hand in a knife she had found in a park.
The member of the public, who asked not to be named, said she discovered the long-bladed knife lying on the grass in Rectory Park, Northolt.
She also says the officer she spoke to failed to take any details about the knife or where it had been found - information she assumed would provide useful intelligence.
'If I'd left the knife there could have been a tragic accident'
"The police officer showed complete disregard for the knife. She didn't even write down where I'd found it," said the mum-of-three, who was moved to contact getwestlondon after reading about a fatal stabbing in Hayes .
"There was a group of youths hanging around smoking drugs close to where I found the knife.
"Had I left it there, there could have been an argument, one of those kids could have picked it up and there could have been a tragic accident."
The woman said she found the knife on the evening of Wednesday August 10, and attended the police station at around 10.30am that night.
After being told she would have to take it to one of three knife banks in Hayes, she replied that she would leave it in a drain outside the police station for officers to deal with, which she promptly did.
Police advice on what to do if you find a knife
A Met Police spokesman told getwestlondon the knife should have been accepted at the police station and details of where it was found ought to have been taken.
"Police in Uxbridge remain fully committed to doing all they can to reduce knife crime, as well as tackling gang crime and to take more knives and weapons off our streets," he said.
"Any neighbourhood officer not responding to an emergency call, can accept and deposit any bladed article found by a member of the public where appropriate.
"Details of when and where the knife was found should also be recorded by the attending officer as best practice to build on existing police intelligence in the local area.
"Members of the public can also attend their local police station to surrender knives safely.
"A number of knife bins have been sited across London and as part of the Met's effort to take knives of the streets.
"We are also working with Words 4 Weapons - a charity that has 30 knife surrender bins located across the capital.
"A map showing the location of the surrender bins is available on the Metropolitan Police website.
"Anyone who finds a knife can also call police on 101 to arrange collection."