Express & Star

What you would do to solve the worsening knife crime crisis after yet more stabbings

Tougher prison sentences, extra police resources and punishing parents of weapon-carrying youths are some of the ways being suggested by our readers to tackle the knife crime crisis gripping the Black Country.


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Just in the past few days, a man was stabbed in New Street, Dudley, and left with serious injuries on Thursday, while on the same day a man, in his 40s, suffered knife wounds after an attack by a gang "armed with machetes" in Valley Road, Bloxwich.

Meanwhile, another man was stabbed in Market Place, Bloxwich, on Friday.

Those are only some of the latest incidents of violence which have plagued the region's streets.

Recent figures showed crimes involving zombie knives and machetes have rocketed across the West Midlands in the last three years and the number of teenage victims of crimes involving the illegal blades has tripled.

The Express & Star asked its readers what they think should be done to tackle the issues.

We asked: "If you were Prime Minister, Home Secretary or even a senior police officer, what three things would you do immediately to solve the knife crime epidemic in our region?"

In response, Charlotte Burrowes said: "A strong sentence would carry a heavy deterrent for those who choose to carry these weapons.

"There’s no reason to carry one other than to cause significant harm to someone. Straight to prison. No excuses."

Blood was still visible on Market Place, Bloxwich, on Saturday after a machete attack the night before

Andrew Gardiner suggested total reform of the judicial system was needed.

He said: "It requires total reform of our judicial system, prisons should be a place people fear going and the death sentence should be returned, far too many casual murders out there that don’t even fear a life sentence as they know they’ll be back out again at some point."

Sonia Strachan said: "Children carrying knives the parents need to be taken to court and prosecuted for negligence and intensive parenting intervention should be mandatory."

Tom Moore said: "Anyone who is caught with a knife should be sentenced to five years in prison also needs to go to National Service."

Kay Chalk suggested allowing parents to discipline their children "without fear", giving police more resources and for offenders to get life sentences for carrying a knife.

Matt James said there should be a ban on the sale and distribution of machetes, zombie knives and similar bladed articles.

Police in New Street, Dudley, after a stabbing

The weapons were technically banned in 2016 but a loophole has seen them remain on the streets.

Under current legislation, only knives that are “designed to look intimidating and threatening” are banned.

New legislation is expected to come into play this September.

It will see a complete prohibition of the blades, and anyone found in possession will be subject to jail time.

Vicky Abrahams also called for a ban on zombie knives, more education in schools about the consequences of knife crime and for more youth centres to open.

Daniel Taylor said stop and search powers should be increased, while Yvonne Freeman said conscription should be bought back.

Dave Bosworth said: "Immediate custody for possession and more accountabilty for the parents of these criminals.

"And make sure the prison spaces are available because at the moment many who should be going to prison are spared due to a lack of spaces and judges and magistrates have been given the brief."