Campaign for tighter controls on displaying knives in Sheffield shops backed by dozens of people

Some of the knives on sale.
Some of the knives on sale.

Dozens of people have backed a campaign calling for tighter controls on the display of knives in shops after a spate of fatal stabbings in Sheffield.

The campaign was launched on the Houses of Parliament website by James Swallow-Gaunt after he saw weapons like the USMC KA-BAR, originally designed for use by the US Marines during the Second World War, clearly visible to customers at a shop in the city.

READ MORE: VIDEO: Confusing crossing branded Sheffield’s most dangerous is ‘accident waiting to happen’
He was also prompted to take action after his 20-year-old daughter Alex witnessed a stabbing in the city centre last year and was later praised by police for giving life-saving first-aid to the victim. The move also comes after four fatal stabbings in Sheffield in as many months earlier this year.

The petition calls for military-style knives to be hidden in closed cabinets, in the same way cigarettes now are, in recognition of the dangers they pose.

A total of 52 people have put their name to the petition since it launched several weeks ago and while it is a long way off the 10, 000 signatures needed to get a response from the Government it is at least raising awareness of knife crime.

READ MORE: South Yorkshire Police awarded £6m to improve problem solving and reduce demand on officers and partners
The petition, titled 'Introduce laws to stop the sale of knives from easily viewable display cases', states: "You can't buy cigarettes from open displays due to the impact on health. We should treat the sale of knives the same way.

"Open and easily-viewable cases that display knives are showing them as glamour items. They show knives and advertise them as exciting accessible items.

"If knives are not on display and are not easily viewed, accessible or advertised in a glamorous ways, people who use them for genuine reasons will have to ask for them.

"This allows for retailers to question their legitimate use and purpose."

Father-of-three Jarvin Blake, aged 22, died after being attacked in Burngreave on March 8.

In late May, 19-year-old Ryan Jowle was fatally stabbed in Woodhouse and just two days later 15-year-old Sam Baker lost his life after being stabbed in Lowedges.

Glenn Boardman, aged 59, was found stabbed to death in a house in Chapeltown on June 26.

READ MORE: Major Sheffield road closed and trams disrupted after crash
In addition figures from South Yorkshire Police showed knife crime has risen in recent years.

Between April 2016 and March 2017, there were 1,176 offences reported compared to 807 the year before across South Yorkshire.

The petition is available to sign at petition.parliament.uk/petitions/221467.