Father's horror at 'military-style' knives on open display in Sheffield, following spate of stabbings

Knives on display at a store in Meadowhall, Sheffield
Knives on display at a store in Meadowhall, Sheffield
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Horror at the open display of 'military-style' knives for sale in Sheffield, days after two teenagers were stabbed to death in the city, has prompted an online petition.

James Swallow-Gaunt says he was disgusted to see weapons like the USMC KA-BAR, originally designed for use by the US Marines during the Second World War, clearly visible to customers at a shop in Meadowhall.

James Swallow-Gaunt says knives like these should be hidden behind closed cabinets, like cigarettes

James Swallow-Gaunt says knives like these should be hidden behind closed cabinets, like cigarettes

These photos he took show the knives which he says are clearly visible to anyone walking past and are accompanied by the sort of 'glamorous' wording he fears could easily influence impressionable young minds.

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The father-of-three, aged 43, believes such knives should be hidden in closed cabinets, in the same way cigarettes now are, in recognition of the dangers they pose.

The petition, launched this week on the Government website, is titled 'Introduce laws to stop the sale of knives from easily viewable display cases'.

It states: "With the increase of knife attacks across the UK, we are asking for tighter laws controlling the sale of knives from display cases. Knives should be sold from covered cabinets. You can't buy cigarettes from open displays due to the impact on health. We should treat the sale of knives the same way.

READ MORE: Fearsome-looking knife found on streets of Sheffield
"Open and easily-viewable cases that display knives are showing them as glamour items. They show knives and advertise them as exciting accessible items.

"Take a store in Sheffield that is displaying knives like the USMC KA-BAR. This is clearly a military knife. If knives are not on display and are not easily viewed, accessible or advertised in a glamorous ways, people who use them for genuine reasons will have to ask for them. This allows for retailers to question their legitimate use and purpose."

Flyers advertising guns and fearsome-looking knives for sale recently provoked an outcry among some residents and councillors after they were posted through doors around Hillsborough.

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The businessman responsible pulled the advertisements following the public backlash but defended himself, insisting he was doing nothing wrong.

Two teenagers were stabbed to death in Sheffield last month within the space of two days, in a week during which there were four knife attacks across the city.

The scale of the problem had been driven home to Mr Swallow-Gaunt last year when his 20-year-old daughter Alex witnessed a stabbing in Sheffield city centre and was later praised by police for giving life-saving first-aid to the victim.

He recently teamed up with Andy Gibb to launch the Don't Be a Tool campaign, which combines self-defence classes, business mentoring and education to help young people break free from the grip of gang culture.

* The petition is available to sign at petition.parliament.uk/petitions/221467.