Knife campaign praised in parliament
The Express & Star's campaign against knife crime has been mentioned in the House of Commons by an MP calling for an urgent ban on machetes and so-called zombie knives.
Wendy Morton, MP for Aldridge-Brownhills, also praised the family of murdered fitness instructor James Brindley for their work , but said the Government now needed to deliver on its promises about banning deadly weapons.
Mr Brindley, a 26-year-old fitness instructor, who was stabbed through the heart in an unprovoked attack as he walked home from a night out in Aldridge town centre.
Speaking in a debate entitled 'Breaking Down Barriers to Opportunity', Mrs Morton said the James Brindley Foundation, set up in memory of the fitness instructor, was campaigning to reduce knife violence through positive social changes.
"We urgently need the legislation now to deliver the promised ban on machetes and zombie-style knives, and for the police to have the powers to seize and destroy any weapon they find," she says.
"That is something that I have campaigned for. Our local newspaper, the Express & Star, is also actively campaigning on that. Good work is going on locally, and it is connected to breaking down barriers to opportunity, but we need legislation now."
Mrs Morton added that she hoped such measures would be included in the forthcoming Criminal Justice Bill.
Ammar Kahrod, 17, of Walsall Road, Aldridge, was jailed for life in February, 2018, after being convicted of Mr Brindley's murder. Passing sentence at Birmingham Crown Court, Judge Patrick Thomas told him he would serve at least 17 years in custody. Kahrod's 21-year-old brother, Aaron, was cleared of the same charge.
Mr Brindley's parents Mark and Beverley launched the James Brindley Foundation to steer young people away from criminality and violence.
Earlier this year, the foundation announced the launch of 12 knife-surrender bins around the streets of Walsall borough.