Police launch clampdown on knives

Consultant paramedic Dan Smith and Detective Chief Inspector Debbie Dooley
Consultant paramedic Dan Smith and Detective Chief Inspector Debbie Dooley

People who carry knives are being targeted as part of a national week of awareness.

Greater Manchester Police is joining other police forces and appealing directly to those who carry a blade to make them aware of its often fatal consequences until May 14.

Those who carry a knife often cite it’s for self-protection, but that’s not an excuse

Det Chief Insp Debbie Dooley

Police will warn people carrying a knife of the increased risk of potential injury, prison time and death.

Det Chief Insp Debbie Dooley, from GMP’s Xcalibre Task Force, said: “Those who carry a knife often cite it’s for self-protection, but that’s not an excuse. If you carry a knife or offensive weapon you are breaking the law and can face up to four years in prison. It’s not just the lives of other people you put at risk when carrying a knife.

“National statistics show that those who carry a knife or offensive weapon are far more likely to be seriously injured or killed themselves.

“I also wish to appeal to those who associate with people who carry knives.

“Even if it’s not you personally carrying the knife, if you’re with someone who uses a weapon to injure or kill, you too could be prosecuted and sent to prison under the law of ‘joint enterprise’. To put it simply: it’s not worth the risk. Leave the knife at home and encourage others to do so.”

Consultant Paramedic for North West Ambulance Service, Dan Smith, said: “We have seen, firsthand, the devastating effects of knife crime and urge people to think twice before leaving the house armed.

“Too many people lose their lives as a result of knife crime and I hope that people understand the terrible consequences for the victims and family members.”

On previous awareness weeks police have held a knife surrender - when dozens of blades have been handed in - but have chosen not to this time.

Throughout the week GMP will be supporting the national campaign using the hashtag #StopKnifeCrime across social media channels, including twitter, facebook and Instagram.

To report a crime, call police on 101 or 999 in an emergency. Alternatively ring Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.