First knife bin installed in Sheffield

Cheryl Robertson, Mayor Talib Hussain, Coun Shaffaq Mohamed and  Wajid Nazir at launch of a knife bin
Cheryl Robertson, Mayor Talib Hussain, Coun Shaffaq Mohamed and Wajid Nazir at launch of a knife bin
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A knife surrender bin has been launched in Sheffield – the first of its kind in the city.

Campaigners from Surrender your Knife and The Knife Awareness Project are behind the project.

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Dozens of people gathered at One Nation Community Centre on Leyburn Road in Sharrow to mark the launch, including boxers Tom McAssey, Barry Awad – Kid Galahad – and Sam O’maison.

Sheffield Lord Mayor Coun Talib Hussain officially opened the knife bin to the public.

The knife bin, supplied for free by the British Ironwork Centre has been placed outside the community centre and it is hoped it will reduce knife crime in the city and educate young people about its consequences.

Blades and weapons collected will be used to create a national sculpture.

Similar bins in London, Manchester and Birmingham have seen thousands of weapons handed in.

Cheryl Robertson, Sheffield co-ordinator for the Knife Awareness Project, said: “People are sceptical about whether it will work. And it won’t on its own but if it is part of other measures it will.

“Young people are often the victims of the society that they live in but by using education we can help.

“If we get one knife off the street that would be a good thing because that knife could be the one that injures or kills someone. That’s how we measure our success.”

Coun Shaffaq Mohammed said: “Anything that makes the community come together to tackle this issue is a good thing.

“Tackling knife crime is important and people should come and use it.”

Boxer Ryan Rhodes said: “We’ve got a lot of knife crime in this area. This should raise awareness, let’s hope everyone gets behind us.”

Wajid Nazir, from One Nation Community, said:“Young people carry knives for two reasons, one is for an ego boost, to be hard, and the other is for protection.

“But if we give them something to do and get them off the streets we can change people’s mindsets.”

A spokesman for the Safer and Sustainable Community Partnership Board, jointly chaired by South Yorkshire Police and Sheffield Council, said: “We share an absolute commitment to drive down gang culture and the use of weapons on the streets of Sheffield, and have a range of policing and partnership strategies, plans, interventions and education already in place.

“Our shared challenge and focus with this community based initiative is educating those that can be diverted from wanting to carry a knife, and enforcing the law against those who won’t.”