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Express & Star launches Knives Campaign

The Express & Star is tackling knife crime by interviewing police, paramedics, grieving families and the prime minister.

Express & Star launches Knives Campaign
Mark Drew: “On Monday our front page featured pictures of young people in the West Midlands that have had their lives cut short due to knife crime.”

The Express & Star has announced the launch of its Knives Campaign, which focuses on the deaths and injuries caused by the increase in this violent crime – and particularly the use of machete and zombie-style knives.

This week the publisher says each newspaper has been filled with exclusive interviews, and front pages which make it clear the impact this is having on families and communities across the West Midlands.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak spoke to the Express & Star about the rise in knife crime, saying that as a parent he shares concerns over young lives being lost.

He visited the Black Country last week, just a couple of days before the latest outbreak of violence, a double stabbing in Whitmore Reans, Wolverhampton left one man dead and another injured.

The PM told reporters: “I have young children as well so it’s something I feel personally and I want to make sure we do everything we can to reduce it. Nationally, things are heading in the right direction but we can always and must do more.”

Crime Superintendent Gareth Morris spoke to the paper to say: “The unlawful possession of a knife can lead to a loss of life and serious life-threatening injuries. Even if not intended for use in violence, the possession of a knife can lead to an escalation in a dispute that increases the potential for serious consequences or fatality.”

The Express & Star says it is working closely with the family of Ronan Kanda, the 16-year-old who died after being attacked close to his Wolverhampton home by two other boys with a machete and sword.

Reporters are calling on people to sign the petition set up by his family. Mark Drew, group deputy editor, said the campaign is going to continue to run. “On Monday our front page featured pictures of young people in the West Midlands that have had their lives cut short due to knife crime,” said Mark.

“Each day we have shown the impact of knife crime, and our talented newsroom team have highlighted its devastating impact and how it has affected so many families. We’ve heard from paramedics that have told us about the horrors of knife crime, families have spoken to us about the devastating grief of losing a loved one and police have detailed how they are trying to tackle this increase in violence.

“At the Express & Star we have seen the shocking consequences of knife crime with the many families we’ve spoken to. That is why we are backing the family of Ronan Kanda as they launch a petition to demand action. Since we started our campaign hundreds of people have signed the petition, but we want to see this debated in parliament and the sale of zombie knives made illegal.”

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