A father is working to get knives off the streets by running an informal knife amnesty.
31-year-old Faron Alex Paul – who refers to himself as ‘daddy by day and a vigilante by night’ – offers people vouchers if they hand him over their knives, which he then passes on to the police.
People contact Paul via his Instagram account. He then meets with them to conduct the handover, sometimes on his own and sometimes with his dog or a friend.
Brave Paul feels it is worth the risk to get knives off the streets.
Speaking with Sky News, Paul explained:
Everybody wants to know why I do this – I do it because I have kids and I want them to live long and happy lives.
It’s dangerous work so I try to protect myself with a stab proof vest and I normally have a friend and my dog with me, too. But you never know.
But every time I take a knife off the street I am probably saving a life and stopping someone from going to jail. To me that is worth the risk. I’m trying to help build a better future for the next generation and a situation where local communities don’t need to live in fear.
I don’t think what I do will solve our knife crime problem – it’s too big – but if I had the backing of the authorities then maybe we would really make a difference?
Right now these kids are too scared to go to the police – they don’t trust them. Why would any young kid walk in to a police station and hand in a knife? They think it will lead to more problems for them.
But they trust me and that’s why they message me on social media to help them out. At the moment, I’m getting way too many messages every day for me to deal with and requests from as far away as Cardiff and Liverpool.
I wish I could respond to everyone right away but I can’t. That’s why if I could work with the authorities then maybe we could get more of these weapons off the street.
What a fantastic dad, taking a proactive and innovative approach to creating a safer environment for children in the UK.
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Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.