A successful newspaper campaign, run in partnership with police, has led to the law being changed to see so-called “zombie knives” effectively banned from the UK.
The Express and Star first raised the issue of the deadly combat knives, which can be up to two feet long and have names such as Zombie Killer, in July last year.
It came a month after 18-year-old Stefan Appleton was fatally stabbed in the chest by Blaise Lewinson, then 17, who is currently serving a minimum of nine years after being handed a life sentence for manslaughter in May.
The paper’s campaign was backed by West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson who took it to Westminster to gain the attention of senior politicians, including new PM Theresa May.
As a result, on Monday a new law passed through Parliament via Statutory Instrument adding the weapons to Section 141 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988.
Now anyone who manufactures, sells, hires, imports or lends a “zombie knife” faces six months behind bars and/or a fine.
Express and Star editor Keith Harrison said: “Our streets are now safer as a result of our partnership with the West Midlands PCC.
“Together, we have shown what can be achieved when the regional Press and public figures work as one on a truly important cause.”
PCC Jamieson said: “I would like to thank the Express and Star for getting the ball rolling on this issue and supporting the campaign from the very beginning.
“This shows the power of a strong local newspaper. The Express and Star should be extremely proud of its efforts. Together, we have made a real difference.
“But the campaign doesn’t end here, we will carry on working together to get these weapons out of the shops and stop them being sold online.”