Monday, 12 November 2007

News from The Royal Armouries


It was reported last week that a knife crime is committed every 24 minutes[1]. Even more shocking is the estimation that 1 in 3[2] young people will carry a knife for protection at some stage. To help combat the problem, The Royal Armouries has today launched a new peer-to-peer campaign, NTK: No To Knives, which aims to persuade young people that carrying a knife could be the biggest mistake of their lives.

With the support of the Government, the Police, and leading weapons awareness organisations, NTK has four main objectives:

- To persuade young people that carrying a knife will not protect them and that there are smarter ways to stay safe
- To attract 1,000,000 pledges from young people not to carry knives via
- To provide practical courses in weapons awareness at a local level in London, Yorkshire and Hampshire
- To provide a platform for constructive debate on the knife crime issue and to promote knowledge sharing and best practice amongst community groups and other stakeholders

Perhaps surprisingly this exciting new initiative comes from Britain’s oldest museum – The Royal Armouries. However, with its unparalleled knowledge of weapons and armour, the museum is in a unique position to use its experience and expertise to help educate the public about knife crime, to change attitudes, and to stimulate constructive debate.

Peter Armstrong, Museum Director, Royal Armouries, said, ‘Sadly a lot of young people don’t realise that carrying a knife could be a recipe for disaster - so we decided to create an interactive peer-to-peer website to give young people a voice. Of course we don’t imagine that a website alone is going to solve the knife issue, but we hope that by raising awareness of the campaign, informing young people about the dangers of knives and delivering weapons awareness courses, we can have an impact. If NTK can persuade even one person not to carry a knife, it will have been worthwhile’.

The campaign has already generated a huge amount of interest from the many people involved with tackling knife crime across the UK and beyond. It provides a forum to bring together the many agencies working in this field.

One very keen supporter of NTK is Ann Oakes-Odger, whose son Westley was killed with a knife whilst withdrawing money from a cash machine. She commented, "Having tragically lost a son through knife crime I can not stress enough the importance of this campaign to help raise awareness of the very real consequences of carrying 'bladed weapons'. In an ideal world no parent should have to go through what I did".


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