A campaign launched by the Shields Gazette highlighting the dangers of knives has been praised in the House of Commons.
The Gazette launched its Knives Ruin Lives campaign last month to coincide with a knife amnesty organised by South Tyneside police.
The Gazette is calling for tougher sentences and deterrents for people caught carrying knives, including automatic jail sentences and criminalising the possession of folding pocket knives.
During a meeting in the commons, Home Office minister Vernon Coaker described the campaign as “the sort of community initiative we need”.
When asked by Jarrow MP Stephen Hepburn whether he would welcome the campaign. Coaker said: “I am happy to congratulate the Gazette on its Knives Ruin Lives campaign in Jarrow and beyond.”
Gazette editor John Szymanski said: “We want courts to get tough on people carrying knives, and this will, in turn, send out a warning signal to others who still think it is acceptable to carry lethal weapons on the streets.”