West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson is this week meeting with Karen Bradley MP at the Home Office as part of his campaign against the sale of ‘zombie knives’.
Mr Jamieson wants a change to the Policing and Crime Bill currently going through Parliament to include a total ban on the sale of the weapons.
Mr Jamieson will be meeting with the Minister, as well as Shadow Policing Minister Jack Dromey MP, to discuss banning the brutal blades, which have names such as Head Splitter and Death Dagger and can be up to 2ft long with serrated edges.
West Midlands Police’s lead officer for knife crime today said he shared the Commissioner’s concerns about ‘zombie knives’ and a Chief Inspector with the Metropolitan Police told Mr Jamieson he is finding them ‘almost daily now’.
In the West Midlands, a ‘zombie knife’ has already been found and seized by police and the team behind the region’s knife surrender bins said its members were finding more and more examples of ‘intimidation weapons’.
Nationwide, there are reports of the weapons being increasingly used by criminal gangs as status symbols, with some gang members posting videos online posing with the blades.
West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson said: “I have been campaigning against ‘zombie knives’ since last summer and, as a result, the Home Office is already considering banning the sale of these weapons.
I am going to use this meeting with Karen Bradley MP to really push for that. “I want the Minister to amend the Policing and Crime Bill currently going through parliament to include a ban on the sale of ‘zombie knives’. “I am also going to ask if there is anything I – or any of my fellow Police and Crime Commissioners nationwide – can do to help in the fight against these gruesome weapons.
“'Zombie knives’ have no practical usage whatsoever and can be bought for as little as £8 online.
They are being increasing used by criminal gangs as status symbols and I know both the public and the police feel as strongly as I do about this issue. “I am pleased to report that since writing to their chief executive, Amazon UK have tightened up their security and ‘zombie knives’ have disappeared from their pages. I now want other retailers to follow suit and the law to change.
I want an amendment to the Policing and Crime Bill detailing a ban on the sale of such weapons. “We are increasingly seeing these knives on the streets, recently West Midlands Police confiscated a large ‘zombie knife’ in Sutton Coldfield.
“I am not against the legal and responsible sale of knives in general: obviously they have a practical use in the home and garden. But these ‘zombie knives’ have no practical usage whatsoever and no sensible person wants to see them for sale and then turning up on streets. Hopefully, this meeting will be the first step towards a real change in the law.”
Detective Chief Inspector Ian Parnell from West Midlands Police CID – the force lead for knife crime - added: “I too share the PCC’s concerns around ‘zombie knives’.
“To the best of my knowledge there are no examples of them being used in crime in the West Midlands yet but unfortunately I fear this will change.
“A knife should be treated with the same level of seriousness as a firearm. There’s a story behind every knife and we need to make sure we are asking all the right questions.”
There are 13 knife surrender bins across Birmingham and the Black Country and the Commissioner today urged anyone with a zombie knife – or any weapon – to dispose of it in one of the bins. The full list is here: http://www.westmidlands-pcc.gov.uk/key-issues/weapon-surrender-bins
- A ‘zombie knife’ is characterised by the following features: a blade that is more than 3½ inches long; no practical usage; the glorification of violence; bright colours and over-the-top/unnecessary decoration.