Birmingham & Black Country

Joshua Ribera death: Knife 'surrender' in rapper's memory

A planned "knife surrender" by West Midlands police is to be dedicated to the memory of a teenage rapper who was killed in September.

Crime Commissioner Bob Jones said he wanted to positively use the "grief and energy" of Joshua Ribera's fans to encourage others to abandon knives.

Anonymous "drop-off points" for knives will be set up around the city, Mr Jones said.

The plans follow a meeting between the crime commissioner and Joshua's family.

'Help and guide'

Joshua, 18, also known as Depzman, was stabbed outside TCs nightclub in Selly Oak on 20 September. He had been attending an event held in memory of his friend Kyle Sheehan, 16, who was killed in a separate stabbing in the city.

The police scheme, which has not been given a launch date yet, will replace the one-off amnesties that have been used in the past.

Instead, the drop-off points will be a permanent fixture at community centres and public spaces across the West Midlands.

Mr Jones said: "Joshua and his music remain very popular and his death was a tragedy.

"We want people to see the loss left by Joshua's immense potential to encourage them to hand in knives."

Joshua's mother, Alison Cope, said she hoped her son's name "can continue to help and guide people, in the same way that his music has".

Armani Mitchell, 18, from The Green in Northfield, has been charged with Joshua's murder.

An 18-year-old man from Edgbaston remains on police bail after being arrested in connection with Joshua's death, officers said.

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