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PCC Simon Foster alongside Brierley Hill neighbourhood police officers and the team at Pumpkin Amateur Boxing Club following the installation of the 31st weapon surrender bin

A thriving boxing club in the heart of the Black Country has thanked West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner Simon Foster for the recent installation of another weapon surrender bin.

The latest container has been positioned outside Team Pumpkin Amateur Boxing Club in Brierley Hill, taking the total of weapon bins to 31 across the region. The new bin follows four that were welcomed back in January in Coventry, Solihull, Tipton and Wolverhampton.

Latest figures show as many as 659 dangerous weapons – including knives, guns and machetes – were deposited in surrender bins between April and June of last year.

Around 55 deadly weapons continue to be taken off the streets each and every week, on average, thanks to the PCC’s pledge to keep communities safe in the West Midlands.

PCC Simon Foster said: “Weapon surrender bins are continuing to have a significant impact, because they play an important role in keeping people, families, businesses and communities safe, here in the West Midlands.

“I’ve witnessed the bins being cleared and the range of weapons that have been deposited – and then later destroyed – is truly staggering. They are ensuring, fewer dangerous weapons out on the streets of the West Midlands, preventing serious violence and communities are safer because of them. As I keep stressing, every knife, blade or weapon placed in a surrender bin, is potentially a life saved.

“I’m pleased the latest weapon surrender bin has been installed here in Brierley Hill, next to the Team Pumpkin boxing gym, a place I know continues to have a positive impact on the lives of so many young people.

“I want to thank head trainer Carl and his coaches, for the time they continue to dedicate to youngsters at their gym, giving them a real drive and focus, whilst maintaining the discipline and respect that will assist them in their later years.”

The PCC added: “I continue to hold West Midlands Police to account to prevent, tackle and reduce crime. Serious youth violence is down by 7% year on year. This is due to robust policing and a whole range of prevention and intervention projects, which are helping steer youngsters away from a life of crime. However, more work is required and I am committed to constant and unremitting action to prevent, tackle and reduce violence, protect people and save lives.”

Carl Collins, head trainer at Team Pumpkin Amateur Boxing Club, said of the importance of the new weapon surrender bin: “Since October 2023, three of our own boxers have been victims to muggings where a knife was shown to threaten them.

“Me and my son Ben work hard within the local community and we sit on a knife summit committee alongside the local police team and nearby schools. We all try to pull together in the hope we can educate the children and reduce the number of serious incidents.

“With our gym being a real hub within the local community it seems the right place for a weapon surrender bin to be installed outside.

“As a club we’d like to thank the Police and Crime Commissioner for the installation of this weapon surrender bin and, hopefully, it does its job and makes the community a safer place for all.”

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