West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson is to take his campaign against the sale of ‘zombie knives’ to the heart of government.
Mr Jamieson is to hold a meeting with senior Home Office ministers after writing to Home Secretary Theresa May calling for a total ban on the sale of the brutal blades.
With names such as Head Splitter, Death Dagger and The Skinner, the knives have no practical usage whatsoever and are being increasingly used on our streets by criminal gangs. One Metropolitan Police officer recently reported to the Commissioner that he is finding the weapons ‘almost daily now’.
The Commissioner wrote to both the Home Secretary and the Chief Executive of Amazon UK calling for the total and immediate ban of the sale of ‘zombie knives’. Questions were also tabled in Parliament by local West Midlands MP, Ian Austin.
The Home Office has now responded, saying it is ‘aware of concerns about zombie knives’ and has offered to meet the Commissioner.
West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson said: “I am pleased that having raised this issue the government is taking it seriously and I am looking forward to a productive meeting with the Home Office as soon as possible.
“I also hope the government brings Amazon to the table as, despite repeated requests from my office, they are yet to formally respond. I am not saying Amazon is the only company selling these items – far from it, unfortunately they are available from many outlets – but it is the biggest online retailer in the country and where it leads, others follow.
“I also want to be clear that I am not against the legal and responsible sale of knives in general – obviously they have a practical use in the home and garden. But these ‘zombie knives’ have no practical usage whatsoever.
“I have had a very strong response from both the public and the police when it comes to this issue – no sensible person wants to see these items for sale and turning up on the streets – and I hope to see positive action very soon. I’d also like to thank Dudley North Ian Austin MP for raising this important local issue in Parliament.
“These are truly terrible weapons that need to be removed from the streets as soon as possible.”
In response to parliamentary questions, Home Office Minister Karen Bradley MP said: “The Government continues to work with the police and partners to ensure we reduce violence and knife crime, and in the year ending June 2015, knife crime recorded by the police was 17% lower than 2010. We are aware of concerns about zombie knives and we are currently considering representations including the letter of 13 January from the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for the West Midlands and on 21 January from the prospective mayoral candidate for London Zac Goldsmith. A reply will be sent shortly and we will offer to meet with the PCC.
“We are currently considering what action to take against the prevalence of zombie knives on our streets. We are talking to retailers, including Amazon, about the action they can take. There are strict laws on the sale of knives to under- 18s and on how knives can be marketed. We are concerned about any knives being carried in public especially if used to threaten and inflict violence. It is a criminal offence to possess a knife in public without good reason, and if a person is convicted a second time they now face a minimum mandatory custodial sentence following the introduction of this change by the Government in July 2015.”Back to News Archive