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Knife hand-in scheme is a success

April 9, 2010

Over the last year, 100 weapons have been surrendered anonymously into a secure knife bin at All Saints Church on Caledonian Road. In a unique experiment, the church has been the first non-police location in the country to accept handed-in knives.

The success of this scheme was inspired by Rev Martyn Saunders. He stepped forward after the London-based Christian charity Word 4 Weapons asked a church to participate in an amnesty scheme.

All Saints Church - a modest building with a big mission

Since All Saints launched the scheme last year another eight knife bins have been established in community locations in London.

Like everyone in this neighbourhood, Rev Saunders was shocked by the recent deaths and wounding of young people in the Borough.

He decided to something about it. Martyn is quoted in this week’s Islington Tribune saying that two weapons a week may not sound like a lot. But he says the numbers add up and these weapons “have been taken off the street and out of harm’s way”.

He also says that “People carry knives for self defence or because they want to appear tough. They need to realise that it only takes an argument that gets out of hand and suddenly someone is injured or dying. The person wielding the knife then faces a very long time in prison. It’s just not worth it.”

Rupert Perry adds “Martyn is an outstanding faith leader in our community who makes it his mission to secure simple achievable benefits to our community. He is also being characteristically understated about the numbers. A hundred knives off the street is an enormous achievement. We’ve seen too many knife fatalities and injuries in this neighbourhood and every effort we can all make to stop knife crime is a benefit to us all.

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