YEP Says (Jan 20): Let’s hope knife crime message is heard and heeded

Vincent Uzomah who was stabbed by a teenage boy, with West Yorkshire Police Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Angela Williams
Vincent Uzomah who was stabbed by a teenage boy, with West Yorkshire Police Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Angela Williams
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What makes someone leave their home with a knife in their pocket?

As they make the decision, what are they thinking?

That it’s for their own protection? That they plan to cause harm to someone else - or themselves?

Or maybe they don’t consider it at all.

And odds on, if they habitually carry a weapon, surely it’s more likely their associates will be ‘tooled up’ too. Par for the course.

And so the habit develops - and spreads.

We should be shocked. But few will be.

There’s no doubt that the culture of weapon carrying exists in this city and beyond - and is making our streets far more dangerous than they should be.

Vincent Uzomah knows this all too well, of course.

He is the teacher from Leeds who was stabbed by one of his pupils - a boy of 14 - in a racist attack at a Bradford school last June.

To his immense credit, Mr Uzomah, who has still not returned to work, is determined to use what happened to him to positive effect: to try and prevent others being hurt, or even killed.

He is the figurehead of a new weapons amnesty announced by West Yorkshire Police following a “concerning” rise in gun and knife crime.

There were 919 knife crimes in the eight months from April to November last year – a rise of 15 per cent on the same period the previous year.

We’ll be looking at the background to this issue, and the stories behind the statistics, in coming editions; but for now we hope that Mr Uzomah’s message reaches those who need to hear it; and pray that they heed it.

Bernard Kenny, the man who risked his own life to try and save MP Jo Cox, has died.

YEP Says: Bernard Kenny, a real national hero