By Carl Jackson Thursday 24 January 2013 Updated: 28/01 12:05
AN ANTI-KNIFE campaign has been launched in the Midlands on the back of a jail sentence for a Rednal teen convicted of stabbing his victim.
The Knives End Lives drive launched on Monday (January 21) involves metal detectors installed at bus and railway stations, as well as schools and colleges across the region, including areas of South Birmingham.
West Midlands Police are hoping the hard-hitting campaign warns people serious charges can be brought against anyone who is in the company of a person they know is carrying a knife.
Gurjyot Singh, 17, from Rednal, was imprisoned for seven years on January 4. A jury found him guilty of stabbing a 19-year-old man from Surrey.
A legal principle called 'joint enterprise' meant similar charges were brought against his fellow gang members even though they were not carrying a knife.
The ruling resulted in two rehabilitation orders for two fellow Rubery Rednal teens and a jail term for another gang member from Winson Green, Birmingham.
A Longbridge girl is also set to be sentenced as part of the same case.
The campaign will be driven by posters and radio adverts. Traffic police will also carry handheld metal detectors and officers will also be talking to shop owners to reinforce the responsibilities inherent with selling knives.
Dr Barry Boland, consultant at the Queen Elizabeth hospital in Birmingham, has backed the campaign.
The trauma surgeon claimed 18 people under the age of 24 were treated for stabbing last year at the hospital.
He added two of three 16-year-olds stabbed in the leg once had died in the last six months.
"People may think we can manage leg injuries very easily, but there are actually some vessels there which you can seriously injure.
"People need to know that lashing out at somebody's arm, leg, chest or belly with a knife will commonly kill them or paralyse them.
"Even if they do survive, they'll have to be brought into an operating theatre to have their belly slit open and their chest cracked open in order for us to save them.
"This can lead to life-long disability from injuries and brain damage we simply cannot fix."
Bob Jones, Police and Crime Commissioner for the region, said: "This campaign couldn't be more timely.
"We must always get the message across that even if you're not carrying a knife yourself, mixing with those who do can lead you into serious trouble."
Supt Basit Javid, from West Midlands Police, urged people who had information on knife crime to report it immediately to police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
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