Barnsley barber at forefront in combating knife crime

A well-known barber in Barnsley is housing a knife amnesty bin to support the country’s ‘fade the blade’ campaign and help reduce the amount of weapons on the streets.

Saturday, 25th January 2020, 1:08 pm
Updated Saturday, 25th January 2020, 1:36 pm

Tony Batty, who owns Tony’s Barbers on Racecommon Road in Barnsley is a well-known figure in the community and has been cutting locals’ hair for over 33 years.

Wanting to help make a difference, Tony worked alongside PCSO Michelle Armitage from Kendray Police Station to provide a safe place to dispose of knives.

Over the past two weeks, 17 knives have been surrendered in the amnesty bin.

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Knife crime
Knife crime

PCSO Armitage said: “I am attending Tony’s shop every week to empty the bin. The recovered weapons are then taken to Churchfields Station to be destroyed.

“Anyone with knives or weapons can walk into Tony’s and surrender them without facing fear or prosecution.

“Every weapon off the streets is one less that can fall into the wrong hands and cause fear.

“We would like to thank Tony for his support.”

A number of barbers across the UK have formed a group called ‘Barbers Against Blades’ that involves barbershops becoming drop-off points, as well as being sources of information for people concerned about knife crime.

Nearly 1,000 knife crime offences were reported in South Yorkshire in the 12 months to last June – as figures hit an all-time high nationally.

There were 996 offences in the year ending June 2019 compared to 977 the previous 12 months, a two per cent increase.