Knife amnesty backed by families of blade victims


Staff reporter (Leader Live)

AN ANTI-knife campaign backed by the families of two men killed in incidents involving blades has won the support of the Home Office.

Craig Maddocks, a former amateur boxer from Llay, was brutally murdered in a Wrexham pub in June last year.

Craig, 34, was the victim of a frenzied knife attack on June 26, 2013, in a toilet cubicle at the Cambrian Vaults pub in Wrexham.

He was stabbed 52 times with a flick-knife.

His killer, Francesco John Prevete, 46, was told he will have to serve at least 23 years behind bars.

And Danny Jones, a 21-year-old trainee accountant from Chirk, was killed by an ornamental Lord of the Rings replica sword with a 12-inch blade during a fight with Richard Adam Reece on April 24 last year in Oswestry.

Reece, 19, from Oswestry, was found guilty of manslaughter by a jury at Birmingham Crown Court after a two-and-a-half week trial and was sentenced to 12 years in jail.

The British Ironwork Centre in Oswestry created the ‘Save a Life, Surrender Your Knife’ initiative, which aims to bring together anti-knife campaigners across the country to reduce the number of weapons on British streets.

The centre’s team will embark on a tour of UK cities, where they will provide specially designed and created knife banks and speak with young people to persuade them to surrender their knives.

Relinquished weapons will be used in the creation of a memorial ‘Knife Angel’ sculpture as a lasting tribute to all those who have lost their lives to knife crime.

Clive Knowles, chairman of the centre, travelled to London to meet with officials from the Home Office’s Tackling Crime Unit.

As a result of the meeting, the Home Office will be circulating details of the campaign to communities across the country to gauge their need for knife banks and encourage their involvement in the initiative.

Mr Knowles said: “We’re extremely grateful to the Home Office for their time and their efforts in raising awareness of our campaign nationally.

“We have pledged to provide 150 knife banks should these be required and look forward to working in conjunction with the Home Office to meet the needs of communities throughout the country.”

Wrexham town centre police inspector Paul Wycherley said there was a “zero-tolerance” approach to the possession of knives in the town.

He said: “There was an incident last Monday (August 11) when an afternoon police patrol in the Rhosddu area carried out a spot-check on a male, and recovered a lock-knife from his pocket. He was arrested and will appear in court.

“Thankfully possession of knives is rare in Wrexhambut there’s only one course of action we will take if someone is found possessing a bladed article – and that is arrest. We have a zero tolerance policy.”

See full story in the Leader

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