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MP calls for town to be a knife-free zone

Thursday 10th February 2011 (Andrew Griffiths)
MP calls for town to be a knife-free zone

SHARDS of broken glass and kitchen knives are just some of the weapons confiscated by doormen working at pubs and clubs in Burton town centre.

Attempts to smuggle knives into Burton’s nightspots have led to increased calls for the town centre to become a knife crime ‘zero-tolerance zone’.

The banning system, which has received backing from Burton’s MP Andrew Griffiths, would see bans of between one and two years handed to anyone found trying to bring a knife or blade into a town centre pub or club.

Mr Griffiths said: “I have heard stories about young ladies being found with kitchen knives in their handbags.

“I was also told about a girl who was found carrying a sliver of broken mirror that had been sharpened to use as a weapon.”

The MP was so shocked by the stories that he decided to throw his weight behind plans to beef up the existing banning system.

He said: “We had a death last year because of knife crime and one death is one too many.

“If we set up a system banning people who are discovered with knives we would be sending a very clear message to these people that carrying knives is wrong.”

Any banning system would rely on pubs and clubs working together to compile lists of individuals caught carrying knives whom they would not let in to any premises.

Staffordshire Police has given its backing to the proposed scheme and will work with nightspots to tackle knife crime.

Sergeant Richard Crinson, of the Burton Neighbourhood Policing Unit, said: “We fully support the comments made by Andrew Griffiths.

“There is no place in Burton where we should tolerate the carrying of knives. They are carried for one reason only and unfortunately they are used without thought for the consequences and distress they can cause the victims and their families.”

He continued: “At present a banning system does operate between police and members of the daytime and nighttime economies. However, this is operated on a civil scheme and further work is required to extend it to include the carrying of knives.”

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