• Saturday , 22 July 2017

Taking knives off our streets

I hate the fact some people feel the need to carry a knife when they’re out on our streets. The culture of carrying a weapon is something we must stop.

Knifebin2

So I’m really pleased – and relieved – to hear how many people have used the knife surrender bin we installed a few months ago in West Bromwich town centre.

Already, 71 people have taken the decision to get the knife out of their life by using the bin at the corner of High Street/New Street. This means 71 fewer knives on Sandwell’s streets.

Now, I’m not saying knife crime is a major issue in West Bromwich, or the wider Black Country. It isn’t.

But it’s so easy for a fight to escalate into something much, much worse if someone’s carrying a weapon. And the consequences can be devastating for individuals, families and the wider community.

I was with councillors Steve Melia, John Edwards, Bawa Singh Dhallu, The Mayor Barbara Price, Desmond Jaddoo founder of Birmingham Empowerment Forum and Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner for the West Midlands Yvonne Mosquito at the launch of the new knife surrender bin in West Bromwich High Street earlier this year.

I was with councillors Steve Melia, John Edwards, Bawa Singh Dhallu, The Mayor Barbara Price, Desmond Jaddoo founder of Birmingham Empowerment Forum and Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner for the West Midlands Yvonne Mosquito at the launch of the new knife surrender bin in West Bromwich High Street late last year.

The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner and Word 4 Weapons programme have supported the introduction of the knife surrender bin in West Bromwich. There are now 13 in total around the Black Country and Birmingham area.

The commissioner is also now calling on people to deposit firearms and ammunition in the bins, to help make our region a safer place.

I’d like to thank everyone who has surrendered their weapon. And I’d urge others now to do the same.

Please, for you, your family and the wider community, take that step and get the knife out of your life.

Here’s the full list of bin locations.

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Comments
  • Maurice Jones March 11, 2016 at 10:19 am

    Congratulations on the “success” of the knife surrender bin.
    However, I would just like to point out, that the vast majority of the “weapons” that are shown in the picture, are KITCHEN KNIVES, and as such, would hardly be classed as being designed for use as a “deadly weapon”.
    There ARE a couple of “butterfly knives”, that were designed as self-protection knives, a handful of pen knives, mostly not obviously of the “locking blade” type, and quite a good percentage of these, have blade lengths that do not exceed the “legal” blade length, a couple of “Stanley” knives, designed for D.I.Y., and craft use, and even, what looks like, a pair of scissors.
    With the exception of the butterfly knives, all of these “deadly weapons” can be openly, and legally purchased, from almost any Home ware, or Hardware shop across the country.
    If, indeed, any of the blades in your picture, WERE ever carried with the intention of being used as a “deadly weapon”, then the very same people that handed them in, would be able to replace them, simply by visiting their own kitchen, in mere seconds.
    Whilst the idea of a “Knife Amnesty”, is along the right track, I very much doubt, that even ONE minor injury will be avoided by the fact that they have been handed in. The idea is GOOD in theory, but FLAWED in practice.

    People that carry weapons, of any description, do so for a reason !!!
    That reason will often vary from person to person.
    Mostly the people that feel the need to carry a weapon of some sort, fall into one of two broad categories :-
    (A.) Those who wish to use a weapon to intimidate others into handing over the property they have worked hard for, (i.e. cash, jewelry, cars, even items of clothing, etc.), or feel that everyone should fear them, and not “disrespect” them in any way. — i.e. Thugs and “Wannabe Gangsters”, etc.
    OR,
    (B.) Ordinary people, going about their own business, who are well aware that they may have to face one, (or more), of the previous group, and feel that they need to place themselves, on an EQUAL FOOTING, if the situation arises.

    Any, and every time there is any kind of “Weapons Amnesty” held, it is ALWAYS hailed as being a “Huge Success”, and yet – the killing, and maiming, still goes on !!!!!
    What we SHOULD be concentrating on, is PREVENTING people from WANTING to carry weapons, for whatever reason.
    The solution to this problem, lies firmly between our Police, and our Judicial System. How many times do we have to see reports that “a fight involving around 30 people was broken up by Police, last night. TWO people were arrested”, and later, two men arrested in connection with a fight earlier this month, were given 3 MONTHS prison sentences, both suspended for a period of six months, and were ordered to carry out 40 hours of “Community Service” ??????? There is no JUSTICE in this country anymore !! Would YOU, (as a criminal), be worried about committing a violent crime, if you KNEW that you had at least an 80% chance, that you would receive no more than this ?????
    Our own Judicial System, from the bobby on the beat, to the Lord High Justices in the High Court, are letting the people down, BADLY !!!!!!!
    We have recently been informed, that ALL future applications to join the Police, must come from people that hold a University Degree !!!! We don’t have enough Police as it is, why put yet ANOTHER obstacle in the way of anyone that IS willing to join ??????? After all, what qualifications do you NEED to fine a motorist for doing 23 M.P.H., in a 20 M.P.H. Zone ?????

    Give us a Police Force that are actually OUT THERE ON THE STREETS, doing what they are paid to do, (instead of sitting in a Police Station, studying for their next Exam.), and Courts that actually issue sentences that will POSSIBLY act as a deterrent, and maybe, we would not NEED to have “Weapons Amnesties” !!!!!!!!!

    In closing, perhaps you could ask your friend, the Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner for The West Midlands, Yvonne Mosquito, why it is that, more and more, anyone ringing the Local Police, in order to report a matter, is told, “I’m sorry, but that is no longer a Police Matter”, or “I’m sorry, we do not have any Officers available to attend at the moment, as they are all tied up in a Major Incident” ???????? — And, if we “seal with the situation ourselves, then the penalties for doing so, can be quite severe. I’m sure her explanation of this situation would make very interesting reading.

    Thank you for taking the time to read this, and I look forward to your comments.
    M. W. Jones.

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