More knife banks being sent from Shropshire as councillors aim to rid streets of blades

More knife banks from Shropshire will be sent to Wolverhampton to get weapons off the city’s street.

The leader of Wolverhampton council, Councillor Roger Lawrence, travelled to the British Ironwork Centre near Oswestry to see for himself the Knife Angel statue that has come to symbolise the Save a Life, Surrender your Knife campaign.

He, along with Councillor Paul Sweet, also collected the latest knife bank, made at the centre, for the city. “This will be our fourth and I understand we will also have a fifth,” he said.

Councillor Lawrence said that there had to be a rounded approach to getting knives off the streets.

“The knife banks will prevent crimes from being committed,” he said.

“If the knifes are taken off the streets then they cannot be used to injure or cause deaths.

“Equally we have to educate our communities about the dangers of carrying a weapon. We seem to have grasped the problem with guns and gun crime is down.

"But knives are so easy to obtain and we have to make, particularly are young people, aware that if they take a knife out with them, they could end up with a murder charge.” He said the problem of mental health must also be addressed.

“There are many tragic incidents involving weapons where there are underlying, mental health issues,” he added.

During his visit, Councillor Lawrence engraved a knife that will be placed on the sculpture, created by artist, Alfie Bradley.

The inscription reads ‘Working together to tackle knife crime in Wolverhampton, Roger Lawrence’.

He said the sculpture was very impressive and had come to be seen as a powerful symbol of the campaign to prevent knife crime.

Chairman of the British Ironwork Centre, Clive Knowles, said he was pleased that Wolverhampton was continuing its involvement in the Save a Life, Surrender Your Knife national campaign.

He has pledged to carry on working with local authorities and police forces across the UK until a million knives are taken off the streets. Last week Mr Knowles travelled to the Home Office to update officials on the campaign.

“We discussed the continuing and alarming national rise in knife crime statistics and how all parts of the UK are affected,” he said.

“We noted the shocking figures relating to fatalities in 2017 and how this may well be the worst year yet for actual deaths from knife-related violence.

“We discussed our continuing support and the fresh commitment to assisting police forces until we reach one million blades.”

The Shropshire Star’s sister paper, The Express and Star based in Wolverhampton, has launched a campaign calling for tougher sentences for those found carrying a weapon.

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