Walsall pledges against knife crime
Officers in Walsall have been working with students at two local secondary schools who have produced an emotive banner of pledges against knife crime.
The banner, covered in ‘blood splatter’, provides a powerful visualisation of the devastating impact knife crime has within our communities. It represents a pledge made by all concerned to help stamp out knife crime in Walsall.
Students from Blue Coat and Joseph Leckie academies, alongside iMatter Walsall and officers from the Delves neighbourhood team have written their pledges following a series of inputs on knife crime including watching an acclaimed play dealing with issues surrounding gang culture and gun crime called the Terriers by Maurice Bessman.
The banner was shown at Walsall FC yesterday afternoon (Saturday 27 April) during half time at the match against Peterborough, with students, teachers, players and officers standing together on the pitch to reveal it for the first time.
“I would tell them to think about their family."
“One knife, one death, one soul, many lives."
“Knife can take a life... no to knife crime."
Violent crime in Walsall, particularly knife crime, is a force priority. There are concerns amongst young people in the area and officers are doing all they can as part of their on-going commitment to exposing the reality of knife crime and its consequences.
PC Indy Malli, from the Delves and Palfrey neighbourhood team, said: “The students have worked really hard on their pledges and put some real thought into them.
“The discussions we have had have been really thought-provoking and we’re all clear that we need to drive out the culture of young people feeling comfortable carrying knives or feeling the need to carry knives for their protection.
“We’re doing all we can to tackle knife crime in Walsall and are actively working with our local communities, the voluntary sector, faith groups and other partners to see what more we can do together to deal with the root causes."
Imrana Niazi, Chair of One Palfrey Big Local (iMatter Walsall), said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Delves and Palfrey neighbourhood policing team on this community initiative to educate and build awareness around knife crime and other related crimes.
“We have taken a practical and visible approach in order for it to have a hard hitting impact with our youth. The pupils have written their own pledges to end knife crime and express what this awful crime means to them."
Martin Manley, Manager for Engagement at Walsall FC Community Programme, said: "It is great to be able to link in with the police and two local secondary schools to spread the anti-knife crime message.
"Knife crime is a growing issue nationally and, working together, it is something we are passionate about raising awareness of, both with young people and in the wider Walsall community."