A teacher from Leeds who was stabbed by a pupil in a racist attack at his school is backing a police weapons amnesty.
Vincent Uzomah, from Moortown, urged people to hand in guns, knives and other potentially dangerous items when West Yorkshire Police launched a ten-day “weapons surrender” at the Royal Armouries in Leeds today.
Mr Uzomah, 51, suffered serious injuries when he was stabbed in the stomach by a 14-year-old boy at Dixons Kings Academy in Bradford last June.
The boy, who racially abused Mr Uzomah before the incident, was handed an 11-year extended sentence after admitting grievous bodily harm with intent.
Mr Uzomah said: “Weapons are not toys, so please do not carry one. I nearly lost my life in the hand of a knife-carrying student in school, and my family was devastated.
“Our society is safer when you don’t carry one – hand in any weapon in your possession today please”.
During the campaign those surrendering weapons will not face prosecution.
The initiative is being supported by the Save a Life, Surrender Your Knife campaign which aims to bring together anti-knife campaigners across the country to reduce the number of weapons on the streets.
Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Angela Williams said: “While we continue to maintain a low number of recorded crimes involving guns, knives and other weapons, we take it extremely seriously.
“We had a good response to a similar campaign in November 2014 when more than 150 knives and other weapons were handed in. The safe removal of these items from the streets ensures they cannot be used for criminal activity or worse still to hurt or kill someone.
“We would urge members of the public to hand in any weapons at their local police station. Failure to do so would be a serious matter and could lead to some very serious charges.”
Mark Burns-Williamson, West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “I fully support this weapons surrender. It is reassuring to know that gun and knife crime remains low across the county, but I would urge people to take advantage of this surrender to hand in weapons they have that may be illegal and dangerous in the wrong hands.
“I am pleased to support such a worthwhile campaign and applaud Mr Uzomah for coming forward following his traumatic ordeal.”
Dr Edward Impey, master of the Royal Armouries, said: “We value the relationship we have built with West Yorkshire Police throughout our last 20 years in Yorkshire, and we are delighted to be able to offer our expertise to support them with this initiative.”