Knife arches to tour schools in bid to curb crime
Should schools introduce knife arches to discourage stab attacks?
Knife arches will be taken to all secondary schools in Sandwell as part of an operation aimed at tackling crimes involving blades.
Every secondary school in the borough as agreed to take part in the scheme which will see the arch tour schools as part of a wider education project.
Police said anybody caught with a knife would be asked to explain why they are carrying it.
Although the knife arches will not be permanent additions at schools, police hope their presence will make schoolchildren think twice about carrying weapons.
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Knife crime has soared in the region over the last few years, with politicians calling for solutions to tackle the issue.
It was also highlighted after the fatal stabbing of teenager Reagan Asbury after trouble flared at a boxing night at Walsall Town Hall in October 2017.
Police brought in knife arches to nightclubs in the town in the wake of the stabbing as a temporary measure to provide reassurance.
They have also been used at recent boxing events at the town hall.
Chief Superintendent Richard Baker from Sandwell Police, said: “I am confident that this is a positive and friendly way in which to open up discussions around the reasons on why some young people choose to carry a knife.
“We want to make sure our school pupils feel safe inside schools as well as on their way in and out and this is just one way in which we are doing it.
“We are committed to making the West Midlands a safe place and it’s great to have the support of local schools and parents.”
Councillor Elaine Costigan, cabinet member for public health and protection at Sandwell Council, said: "This initiative came about as part of our new police and school panel where we are working with the police, schools and other agencies and we are in full support of the knife arch touring Sandwell schools.”
Councillor Simon Hackett, cabinet member for children's services added: “I'm pleased all secondary schools have signed up to be involved in this and I hope the activities will show young people how devastating knife crime can be for them and their families. This initiative is part of a wider programme to make sure children and young people are safe."