Knife surrender starts in Birmingham

Knife bin in Birmingham Three bins have been set up and there are plans for more

People carrying knives are being encouraged to surrender their weapons during a community initiative to tackle knife crime in Birmingham.

Three secure metal bins where people can dispose of weapons have been set up across the city.

It follows several stabbings in the city last year.

The knife surrender is under way with three secure knife bins and plans for a further six.

The police say the term amnesty is wrong because there's never a reason to carry a knife and people should surrender them.

But this is supposed to be community led, with young people, church groups and charities getting involved. Knife crime in Birmingham has actually fallen by 75% over the past decade but over the past ten months there's been a slight rise about 3%.

Will the surrender work? Just three bins at the beginning of the campaign mean it's low level for the moment. Everyone is agreed that education has to play an important part in getting the message across not to carry knives.

In London, 23 bins have been put on the streets and 10,000 knives handed in. Those involved say just one person changing their attitude can save a single life.

A knife surrender differs from an amnesty in that there is no temporary suspension of laws against carrying a knife.

The bins can be found at:

  • New Testament Church Of God, New Spring Street, Hockley
  • New Testament Church Of God, Lozells Road, Birmingham
  • New Testament Church of God, Goosemore Lane, Erdington

Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for the West Midlands, Bob Jones, announced the plans last October.

Police figures showed that in 2012-13 there were 1,615 knife-related incidents in the city, although police said over the past six years knife crime had fallen by 63% across the force area.

The force said there were plans for more knife disposal bins "in the near future" and there was "no fixed duration for the initiative".

Mr Jones said: "Our communities have told us that they want an end to knife crime and that they want to work with us to make that happen."

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