Disappointment after knife amnesty bin on Sheffield estate is broken into

A knife amnesty bin aimed at making a Sheffield estate safer has been broken into.

By Romesa Razzaq and Rahmah Ghazali
Monday, 10th January 2022, 12:15 pm

The bin, located outside Jordanthorpe Library, Jordanthorpe, was recently broken into – disappointing the organisation which installed the container and others across the city to reduce the number of knives in circulation on the city’s streets.

Read More

Read More
Why I have campaigned for new weapons bins to be installed in Sheffield

The idea behind the bins is that people can dispose of knives safely to reduce the number of people carrying them on the city’s streets.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Anthony Olaseinde installs weapons bins across Sheffield to make the city safer

The break-in has also disappointed a friend of Macaulay Byrne, 26, who was fatally stabbed in an attack at the Gypsy Queen pub in Beighton on Boxing Day.

The 29-year-old man said the break-in was “appalling”.

He said he had been “gobsmacked” to learn about the break-in.

“They’re bins for weapons, they should be made a lot more safer to stop people from being able to break into them,” he said.

Anthony Olaseinde, 34, has been actively fighting against knife crime for four years and previously fundraised for weapons amnesty bins in the city.

Anthony Olaseinde, a security professional and anti-knife campaigner who runs Always An Alternative, has been installing weapons bins for four years to reduce knife crime in Sheffield. He said the bins are all covered by CCTV and are in public view.

He described the break-in as “upsetting”.

“What is worrying for me is that more than one person saw what the young people were doing but didn’t have any confidence in stopping them,” he said.

“I know they said the police were informed but when I went into the area after hearing it had been broken into, I moved the bin from the area. No police saw me and nobody stopped me. The worrying thing I am taking away from this is where are the police and why are the people in the community not comfortable enough to talk to young people?”

He said the bin in Jordanthorpe is the only one to have been broken into.

“It was simply broken into because a group of young people were bored, they had nothing else to do and thought it would be fun,” he said.

“I don’t think there was any malice behind their action.”

Mr Olaseinde added that the purpose of this work was to help and educate young people, like the ones who broke into the bin.

“I am going to take a restorative approach - I know who did it so I’ll be setting up a meeting to speak to those young people and their parents and educate them about why they shouldn’t be doing this kind of stuff and why this behaviour is unacceptable,” he said.

South Yorkshire Police said: “This incident has recently been discussed at the local Neighbourhood Action Group meeting for Jordanthorpe, Lowedges and Batemoor.

“At this time, there are no real lines of enquiry into this incident or information as to who is responsible. The local team aren’t planning any extra patrols in relation to the issue and at this time there hasn’t been any contact with the charity regarding the other bins in the area.

“If somebody does know anything about the incident then they can get in contact via 101 or through the portal on our website. Alternatively, you can stay completely anonymous by contacting the independent charity Crimestoppers via their website or by calling 0800 555111.”

Meanwhile, next month, a knife sculpture known as the Tree of Opportunity is to be unveiled in Sheffield.

It is made up of 300 blades collected from the streets of South Yorkshire, including 250 in Sheffield alone.

Mr Olaseinde, 34, who is behind the project, said: “The tree symbolises growth. If you see the sculpture, you will understand why it's called the Tree of Opportunity.

“The sculpture takes weapons used to murder people and created something beautiful. If you see the sculpture, you can't really notice the knives that made the sculpture.

“That was something I requested for the design because there's been a lot of research that says knives and images of knives could trigger people to actively pick up knives.

“I don't want to trigger anybody and I don't want to make a young person look at my sculpture and they get the wrong idea and start carrying a knife.”

The Hillsborough-based dad-of-two said: “This sculpture is not funded, this is all from me. The weapons I've collected from South Yorkshire have not been gifted and I paid the artist to do the work.

“This is to promote growth and positivity and it is not meant to scare people, but to spark a conversation and take the opportunity to educate people.”

He said the tree, which is being designed by renowned metal sculpture Jason Heppenstall, will be unveiled on February 12. It will then make its public debut from February 15 to 17 at Exchange Place Studios on Exchange Street in Sheffield city centre.

Anthony said: “I'm looking forward to allowing people to see that a lot of us haven't given up on their fight against knife crime.

“It seems like no one's doing anything but I hope they can come to the exhibition myself and the people actively to make a difference.

“We are trying to do our best and we are wanting the community to work with us and to make a bigger difference.”