Express & Star

Father of murdered man campaigns to put knife crime prevention on the curriculum

A father whose son died after being stabbed through the heart has launched a campaign to put knife crime prevention on the curriculum.

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Beverley and Mark Brindley next to a new knife bin in Aldridge High Street. They are the parents of James Brindley, who was killed in a knife attack in 2017.

Mark Brindley of The James Brindley Foundation is campaigning for children to learn about the dangers of knives to try and tackle the tragic rise in youth crime.

Mark's son, James Brindley, was killed in Aldridge in 2017 at the age of just 26, after walking home from a night out.

Since then, Mark has been a devout anti-knife campaigner, installing weapon surrender bins across Walsall and committing to educating young people in a bid to prevent them from turning towards crime.

Mark's latest plight comes as the Department for Education is reviewing which areas should be included under Relationships, Sex and Health Education (RSHE).

The anti-knife campaigner told the Express & Star: "The James Brindley Foundation believes that now is a perfect opportunity to introduce education around knife crime into the RSHE curriculum, so schools can build knowledge, confidence and resilience in children, through a programme of consequential thinking.

"As things stand, education in schools and colleges around knife crime is ad-hoc and needs to be formalised, as part of the curriculum and audited by Ofsted, to ensure that agreed standards are being met across the country."

Beverley Brindley and Mark Brindley holding a photo of James when he was a baby.

Addressing youth involvement in knife crime, Mark added: "We are very much aware of young people's involvement in knife crime, and it's growing.

"According to UK Youth Justice statistics, arrests of children in knife-related crime rose by seven per cent in the year ending March 2022, and 18 per cent of all knife crime offences were committed by children (aged 10 to 17) in the same year.

"Some schools really think that addressing knife crime reflects on them badly. As far as I'm concerned, it only reflects badly on them if they don't do anything to address it at all.