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'Facial recognition technology won't rid streets of knife crime' say parents of murdered schoolboy

The parents of murdered schoolboy Ronan Kanda insist that the use of new facial recognition technology on its own will not get rid of knife crime.

Nikita Kanda, Pooja Kanda and Chander Kanda are campaigning for new laws.

The 16-year-old schoolboy was stabbed to death yards from his home in Lanesfield, Wolverhampton, two years ago with a sword his killer purchased online.

From September it will be illegal to possess, sell, manufacture or transport zombie-style knives and machetes, and the maximum penalty for the possession of these and other banned weapons will also increase from six months to two years. A surrender and compensation scheme is also on its way.

The Home Office has now announced £3.5 million additional funding for research and development of new technologies which would allow knives to be detected from a distance when a suspect passes through two points. Meanwhile an additional £547,863 will also be given to the Metropolitan Police to fund four more live facial recognition camera vans.

Ronan's mother Pooja Kanda said: "The Government has made this legalisation which is far away from implementation. It also has loopholes. The ban needs to be stronger. My son was killed by a sword and a few weeks ago there was a sword killing in London.

"To stop these crimes they need to completely stop the availability of these type of blades. The police need to do more and the schools need to do more. Youth clubs need to be re-opened.

"I'm not sure if spending money on gadgets will help and I'm not saying there won't be benefits, but why risk the lives of our children at all? That's why I say 'ban the swords'.

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