Knife campaign reaches Parliament

A campaign launched by The Gazette, Blackpool, to prevent under-18s being able to buy knives has reached Parliament.

Crime reporter James Higgins, pictured, travelled to the House of Commons to meet Home Office minister Hazel Blears and hand over a dossier of information about the “War on Knives” campaign and a petition signed by hundreds of residents.

The campaign aims to have the law changed to make it illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to buy a bladed instrument.

Blears said: “The War on Knives was an excellent example of a local newspaper reflecting the views of its community.”

The War on Knives, launched in November, was prompted by the fatal stabbing at school of a teenager and followed a Gazette investigation that revealed how readily available pocket money-priced designer knives were on the streets of Blackpool. The Gazette was inundated with messages of support from local residents, Blackpool MPs and the resort’s officials.

The matter is in the hands of the Association of Chief Police Officers, which is debating whether there is scope for a change in the law.

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