Boxing gym fights knife crime with #DitchTheBlade campaign
Main article content
A boxing gym in Stoke-on-Trent is joining the campaign to get Staffordshire youngsters to #DitchTheBlade by hosting a knife amnesty bin on their premises.
One Bomb Boxing Gym on King Street in Longton is hosting the bin on their site in the hope that they can “stop a lot of families going through the pain” of losing somebody to knife crime in future.
Co-owners Jason Watson and Michael Giblin have been keen to do their bit after Jason’s own brother was a victim of knife crime himself over a decade ago, but has thankfully made a full recovery.
The friends have owned One Bomb Boxing Gym for about two years, and Jason said it was an incident involving one of their youngsters that led to the knife bin being brought in.
It carries the branding of Staffordshire Police’s anti-knife crime campaign #DitchTheBlade and also ties in with the gym’s own motto ‘Knives Down, Gloves Up’.
Jason added: “One of our young lads left a knife in their kit bag in the gym and we decided something had to be done.
“Michael got the bin, and it was made up by my brother. We’ve had good feedback on it so far and people have been really positive.
“Everything you can do to help your community you’ve just got to do. If every business can get involved and stop one or two people from carrying knives then it will stop a lot of families going through pain.”
Sergeant Terry Bell of the Stoke South Neighbourhood Policing Team said: “One Bomb Boxing Gym are always really pro-active and happy to help out when they can.
“I’ve visited myself and intend to go back. They’re really welcoming and community-minded and they help a lot of young kids. I hope they continue the good work and help keep knives off the streets.”
Chief Inspector Rob Hessell, of Staffordshire Police’s Stoke South Neighbourhood Policing Team and the force’s lead on Knife Crime, said: “We thank One Bomb Boxing Gym in Longton for joining the fight against knife crime in Staffordshire and doing what they can to help take dangerous weapons off the streets of Stoke-on-Trent.
“This is another example of the great partnership work being undertaken right across the county between Staffordshire Police and partner agencies which we are looking to develop further to protect people and save lives.
“We would urge anyone local to One Bomb Boxing Gym who knows of the location of a knife or other bladed article to make use of the knife bin inside the premises.”
The #DitchTheBlade campaign is part of the national campaign Operation Sceptre to clamp down on knife crime.
Anyone who has any concerns around a young person becoming involved in knife crime or carrying a knife can report their concerns via our website, through direct message on Facebook and Twitter or by calling 101. In an emergency always call 999.
Tackling knife crime is a priority for Staffordshire Police and partners, under the multi-agency serious violence strategy.
Visit the dedicated webpage for more information on the campaign and details of the help and support available: www.staffordshire.police.uk/ditchtheblade
Anyone interested in joining One Bomb Boxing Gym can either pop into the gym on King Street or search for One Bomb Boxing Gym on Facebook.