Get a Life bin that Knife - Launch of Knife Surrender Bins

Knife surrender bins are to be launched in Whitmore Reans, Wolverhampton and Edgbaston, Birmingham this week as communities in both cities unite to take a stand against knife crime.

'Get a life, bin that knife' is the message being spread to anyone thinking about carrying a blade in Birmingham and Wolverhampton. 

Members of the community and officers have been working with  Word 4 Weapons  to organise the placement of the bins - the organisation has experience of running a similar scheme in London.

The launch events are to be hosted by international reggae artist Roach Killa.  The knife bin at Wolverhampton will take place on:

9th  July - 17.30 Tabernacle Church, Dunstall Road, Whitmore Reans

The surrender bin will be unveiled by Bob Jones' widow Sarah Edmondson and his stepdaughter step Frances Harrison.

Sarah Edmondson said:  "It is a great honour to be able to represent Bob at this event.  We know how much he cared about making life safer for everyone in our communities and I hope this knife bin will help toward doing that."

The launch of the purple knife bin at Edgbaston will take place on 10th  July -  1600   Tesco Fiveways Edgbaston, rear car park, Ruston Street, Birmingham City Centre B18 8HA.    

It is to be be unveiled by Kathleen Harris, mother of Christina Edkins, who was tragically killed in a knife attack in March last year.

Purple was Christina's favourite colour and everybody attending this event is asked to wear something purple in her honour.

Kathleen Harris said:  
 "I don't think people realise the effect that knife crime has on people.  It destroys not only the victim's parents but their family and friends as well."   

"We can never have our Christina back, but if this bin can even help one person to get rid of one knife, and save one life, then it will have been worthwhile."  

"I would like to make people think more about knife crime, not just young people but adults as well.  Be sure you are aware if your child is carrying a knife and explain to them what the consequences could be." 

 "If you are throwing away old kitchen knives you no longer want, take them to the surrender bins for safety.  If you dispose of them in your dustbin, they might fall into the wrong hands."  

"Young people who are disposing of a knife need to know that what they must do is wrap it up so it cannot be used to hurt anyone.  So long as it is wrapped up, if you get stopped by police, it will help you to show that you are taking the knife to dispose of it. " 

Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner Yvonne Mosquito said:

"These events were planned several weeks ago and Commissioner Bob Jones very much wanted to be there for the launches

"I would like to express my gratitude that Bob's widow Sarah and step-daughter Frances have very generously agreed to represent Bob.  It is very moving to see their love and support to the community at this difficult time, which is a fitting reflection of the way Bob worked.

"May I also express my huge appreciation of the support of Kathleen Harris and her family, for their unselfish efforts to improve people's safety, when coping with the terrible tragedy of losing Christina.

"The fact that these bins have been installed is a testimony to Bob Jones because they show how he wanted to ensure that the public's voice was heard and responded to.

"Young people and community leaders said they wanted knife surrender bins and Bob Jones made sure they got them."

"There have been many people involved in working with young people and making the installation of these bins possible.  I would like to thank all of our partners in the community and other organisations who have worked together to bring this about - in particular Word4Weapons, the pastor and congregations at the churches in Wolverhampton, Tesco, Aldi, and West Midlands Police with special thanks to Constable Dave Webb, the Youth Commissioners, and all the organisations that are working to improve public safety.

Roach Killa, who has been carrying out extensive work in West Midlands schools said:

"One knife carried is one knife too many, one life taken by the use of a knife is one life too many, therefore those who want to dispose of a knife or knives in a safe place should have the opportunity and the facility to do so."  

Youth Commissioner for Wolverhampton Samrita Basra said:

"This is an initiative that comes from young people and is for young people.  The majority of young people want knife crime to end because every young person deserves the right to live without fear of being attacked.  We want to see an end to the tragedies and wasted lives."

Youth Commissioner for Birmingham Sohail Hussain said:   

"I would like to remind people that  even if you don't carry a knife yourself, if you are with somebody who uses one, you could end up going to prison too.  

"We are asking all young people to support this initiative, both by encouraging others to use the bins and making clear that things need to change and can change.  It is in all of our hands, because we are the ones that hold the power to make change happen."

Notes

The launch at Wolverhampton will be attended by Sarah Edmondson, Frances Harrison, Deputy Commissioner Yvonne Mosquito, Mike Smith from Word4Weapons, Assistant Chief Constable Carl Foulkes, Youth Commissioners Samrita Basra and Sandeep Bains and Roach Killa.

The launch at Birmingham will be attended by Kathleen Harris, Tesco, Deputy Commissioner Yvonne Mosquito, Mike Smith from Word4Weapons, Constable Dave Webb, Youth Commissioner Sohail Hussain and Roach Killa.    

The knife surrender bins form a part of a program that is being carried out by West Midlands Police which includes:  

  • Training has been delivered to 250 teachers from across the region in Fearless - a Crimestoppers programme designed to support young people in both managing peer pressure and encouraging social responsibility in crime reporting.
  • There have been 20 intelligence led undercover test-purchase operations over the past 12 months with only two traders breaking the law by selling knives to under 18s.
  • Pop-up airport-style metal detectors have appeared at transport hubs and interchanges in one-off intelligence led policing operations.
  • Around 50 teachers have been reminded in police led training sessions of their powers in relation to searching for weapons on school premises.
  • 150 people - including the parents of murdered schoolgirl Christina Edkins - attended a pioneering drama project financed by the Police Property Act Fund.
  • Around 30 youngsters, aged between 13 and 18, were involved in the production performing their own songs and poetry about how knife crime has affected them, following several weeks of rehearsals alongside music producers and drama professionals.
  • Last November, officers in one of Birmingham's most deprived areas took the bold step of taking community members with them on a bus operation after they had confided in police that they felt unsafe using buses following the death of a 16 year-old boy. The operation, in partnership with National Express and initiated in a direct response to these concerns, demonstrated how the latest technology is keeping passengers safe - including the use of microscopic microphones which automatically detect vandalism and high definition CCTV cameras triggered by a detection to zoom straight in on the vandal.
  • Each of the 10 local policing units in the West Midlands now have dedicated knife crime leads driving work to target offenders and drive down offences in their area through awareness, education, work with partner agencies, voluntary groups and most importantly, local young people.
     

In February 2014, the first knife surrender bins were launched in Birmingham:

  • New Testament Church Of God, New Spring Street Hockley
  • New Testament Church Of God, 240-244 Lozells Road Birmingham
  • New Testament Church of God, Goosemore Lane, Erdington