The father of a Nottinghamshire student who was stabbed in the stomach has spoken out in support of Nottinghamshire Police’s latest knife amnesty.
The father, known only as ‘John’ for anonymity purposes, spoke at the launch of the force’s scheme after his son, known only as ‘George’, was stabbed on a night out in Lenton, Nottingham, in 2018.
George, a student at the University of Nottingham, has been forced to resit the second year of his course after the stabbing incident in which he lost his spleen, a third of his liver and three quarters of his pancreas.
Supporting the knife amnesty, John believes people should hand in their knives because of the “lifelong impact” using a knife can have on not just victims, but also their families and even the people who use them.
He said: “George lost a lot of internal organs, is now diabetic, the emergency surgery damaged the nerves in his legs and is still awaiting surgery to reconstruct his abdomen.
“He had about 20 operations during a four month period in hospital and it has completely changed his life - and mine.
“My message is very simple - people don’t need to carry knifes, it is not big, it is not clever and if you carry a weapon of any sorts there is a chance you could use it so don’t carry knives.
“This knife amnesty is a great opportunity for people to get rid of them and to stop doing that.
“It’s not only the victim’s lives that get ruined, it will also ruin your life because the police will catch you and you will go to jail - it is absolutely mindless.”
The knife amnesty comes as part of a national operation called Operation Sceptre, which encourages people to anonymously hand in their knives without charge.
It follows a similar scheme ran by Nottinghamshire Police in September 2018 which saw 418 knives - ranging from kitchen blades to samurai swords - handed in across the county.
Starting on Monday, March 11, there will be 15 outposts across Nottinghamshire, including at Mansfield Police Station and the Kirkby Partnership Hub, where knives can be deposited.
The scheme will run until Sunday, March 17.
Chief Superintendent Rob Griffin, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “There is no postcode element to knife crime and it can happen anywhere in the county, it may be slightly different in the county to the city but a lot of it goes on behind closed doors.
“Each fortnight we look where the riskiest areas are and where the riskiest carriers are, and we have deployed the knife crime team into the Ashfield area on several occasions where they have had successes.
“Do I think for the people of Mansfield and Ashfield that the knife crime amnesty is the sole answer to keep them safe?
“No I don’t, but it will contribute to it and through the use of all our multi-agency tactics where we work together, it will keep them safe.”
Following two high-profile knife crime incidents in Kirkby, Nottinghamshire Police has deployed the knife crime team in order to gather “community intelligence” about the area.
The incidents, one on Southwell Close on February 22 and another on Station Street on February 27, left residents concerned about whether the national increase in knife crime had spread to their streets.
Chief Inspector Donna Lawton, of the knife crime team, added: “When the knife crime team was deployed to Kirkby there was a number of factors and it was generated by community intelligence which was really helpful.
“I would say that, if you are out and about and you are carrying a knife, the knife crime team will find you and you will be arrested.
“There is a very high chance that if you have a knife you will use it and that is a detriment not just to everyone else but to yourself as well.”