An eight-year-old boy found a knife stashed in the bushes while playing with his friend in a park.
The youngster’s mum said she was ‘horrified’ when her son came towards her holding the knife above his head.
The handle of the blade was wrapped in cling film, although there did not appear to be any blood or other forensic evidence on the knife.
The child also found gloves in the bushes at Duke Street Park in Formby, Merseyside, the Liverpool Echo reports.
The incident took place at around 3pm on Saturday.
The boy’s mum told the ECHO: “There’s a small area of bushes and shrubs with bench seating all around.
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“My son had thrown a pine cone into the bush and was keen to retrieve it, so went in with his friend.
“Next thing I heard was him saying he’d found a knife. He was holding it high above his head, glinting in the sun. It was horrifying.
“Then he said there were gloves, too. It was like they’d been stashed there.”
The boy is said to have found the knife in bushes at the east end of the park.
His mum continued: “I called the police straight away. They said if there was any obvious forensic evidence like blood on it to take it to them.
“Otherwise, I should dispose of it myself or I could take it to a police station.
“The knife was clean, with cling film wrapped around the handle. The cling film was wet so it had clearly been rained on.”
Merseyside Police has said the use of knives on our streets will not be tolerated.
A police spokeswoman said: “The use of knives is extremely dangerous and will not be tolerated.
“Day in, day out, our officers conduct warrants, stop checks, land searches and other proactive activity to help us take knives out of circulation and put before the courts those offenders prepared to store, carry and use them.
“In the last financial year 1,184 open land searches and weapons sweeps have been carried out, with knives, firearms and other items seized.
“We have carried out 6,332 stop searches and arrested 957 people in that time in connection with knife crime, gun crime and serious violence, and we will continue to act on all information provided about those who store, carry and use weapons in our communities so we can keep our streets safe.
“If you would like to report someone in possession of a knife or know whether they are being hidden, please contact us @MerPolCC or via CrimeStoppers on 0800 555 111, or the Fearless campaign website.”
Earlier this year, the government announced Merseyside Police will be one of four forces in the country to trial new stop and search powers in the fight against knife crime.
In March, the Home Office announced that new court orders will aim to help the fight against knife crime by giving officers the power to target convicted knife and offensive weapons offenders.
The Home Office said these new powers will also help protect vulnerable offenders from being drawn into further exploitation by criminal gangs, by acting as a deterrent to any further weapons carrying.