Knife Crime across the West Midlands has led to West Midlands Police offering advice to parents about what to look for in their children’s possession.
I was surprised to read that most people in possession of knives are young men aged 15 to 19.
These knives, which are predominantly kitchen knives, are then used in robbery or violence.
Now that the Police have informed that most of the knives used in these crimes are kitchen knives. Then it has got me thinking that an ‘Amnesty Bin’ should be provided where individuals or others could throw unwanted kitchen knives and the designer knives they may have, in to the bin so that the Authorities could then destroy them. Thereby taking unwanted knives potentially off the streets.
Amnesty bins should appear at least annually at a Police station or agreed local authority safe point. In that way unwanted kitchen knives could be disposed of by owners, without them being left unused in kitchens, sheds or other unacceptable places, where teenage boys, could spirit them away without parents noticing they have gone.
The West Midlands Police recently carried a campaign called ‘Either way he’s not coming home’ and appealed to mothers of young men to have a conversation with their sons about the dangers of carrying a knife.
The campaign I read showed a young man being arrested and taken away from his home, a knife crime victim in an ambulance, and a mother at her son’s funeral.
It got me thinking – – Would you know what to look for if you thought your son was carrying a knife?
The Police want Mothers of teenage boys to look out for the signs that their son may be carrying a knife and talk to them about the very real danger, that by carrying a knife, they are more likely to be stabbed themselves. The Police tell us that many victims in the West Midlands have often found their own knife has been grabbed and used against them in an attack.
The Police say that the signs to look out for are below. You can call police on 101 or dial 999 in an emergency.
- Has your child withdrawn from the family and/or school?
- Is your child’s school or college reporting worrying changes in behaviour, academic achievement or attendance?
- Has he or she lost interest in positive activities such as sports clubs?
- Does he or she stay out unusually late without giving a reason and is vague about his/her whereabouts?
- Has he or she stopped seeing old friends and started hanging out with a new group?
- Are they secretive about the contents of their bag?
- Are they defensive if you ask what is in their possession or if they’re hiding anything?
- Has their attitude changed about carrying knives/weapons? For example, justifying it by saying people carry them for self-defence?
- Have any items gone missing from the kitchen, tool box or garage?
- Have you found a weapon hidden amongst their possessions?
So for my own constituents here in Wednesfield North – lets recognise that Knives are dangerous and just like guns maim or kill. Let’s make sure we treat our kitchen knives with great seriousness.
I will be writing to my Local Police Team to see if they will implement an Amnesty Bin locally at Wednesfield Police Station annually or somewhere else that will be safe and secure so that Wednesfield families can dump unwanted knives safely.
I would hope that West Midlands Police would also want to ensure that a suitable publicity campaign locally would go hand in hand with the ‘Amnesty Bin’.