Success of Sharrow knife bin could lead to more being installed

More knife surrender bins could be installed in Sheffield after positive community reaction to the first.

Monday, 22nd February 2016, 5:35 am
Updated Monday, 22nd February 2016, 9:30 am
Director of One Nation Community Centre Wajid Nazir and Community Campaigner, Shahid Ali with the knife amnesty bin outside the gym on Broadfield Road at Nether Edge Picture by Dean Atkins

A bin where people can drop off knives without fear of punishment was installed outside One Nation Community Centre on Leyburn Road, Sharrow, last month.

A small number of knives have been relinquished – but the wider positive impact of the project has attracted interest from other areas in Sheffield keen to get their own bin.

Wajid Nazir, from One Nation, said: “We didn’t expect it would have this effect. About four or five different areas have put in an expression of interest for knife bins.

“The majority of people are seeing it as a positive. Some are giving criticism, saying we don’t need it in the area. But most are okay.”

The One Nation centre’s main aim is to get young people committing crime and anti-social behaviour off the streets and into sport. Since the knife bin was installed, a programme of education has been launched.

“We’ve had South Yorkshire Sport and Sheffield Futures wanting to engage and set up some educational courses,” said Wajid. “It’s educating people from school level up on the detrimental effects of knives.”

Cheryl Robertston, Sheffield co-ordinator of the Knife Awareness Project which installed the bin, said: “It’s been taken very positively by the community. It’s something they wanted.

“There were three areas that we identified for the campaign. We did a short social media poll and asked where people thought another bin would be useful. They are the areas that have the highest anti-social behaviour. Burngreave is one, Darnall is another. We’re looking for another private location; –possibly a church or mosque.

“Knife bins alone are not going to solve knife crime,. We have to be realistic. They only work if you have a programme of education.”

Cheryl added: “There have been a lot of negative comments online. People ridiculing it and saying it’s never going to work. That’s just ignorance. People are not understanding that there are young people who are disillusioned.

“You look at the reasons why young people carry knives. Often it’s because they feel that they have to, or that it’s fashionable to have a knife. It’s these people who we want to target.

“One knife is a success. That one knife could be used to injure or kill someone.”