KNIVES have been removed from Barnsley’s streets after a barber led a successful amnesty movement in the town.

 

Tony Batty, who has run his shop on Racecommon Road for 33 years, made his business a point for those with unwanted knives to drop them off anonymously.

 

He signed up to the Barbers Against Blades ‘Fade the Blade’ campaign, which sees barbers become drop-off points.

 

About a dozen knives were handed in, which were collected by South Yorkshire Police last Friday.

 

Tony, 53, said: “The more people we can reach and spread the word, the better. It’s not just a short-term thing – the number of knife attacks you hear about is unbelievable, so I want to do all I can to help.”

 

Although the town is South Yorkshire’s least affected area for knife crime, rising concerns about youngsters arming themselves for either status or protection led Barnsley to be included in the force’s Operation Sceptre crackdowns last year.

 

Police – who have backed the barber-led campaign – told the Chronicle that carriers of knives are three times more likely to become a victim.

 

Chf Supt Una Jennings added: “It is vitally important that we continue to work together to address the issue of knife crime and make our young people feel safer and, if they are considering carrying a knife, understand why that is and educate them away from this highly dangerous path.

 

“I’m grateful for the support of our partner agencies, schools and communities as we continue our efforts to tackle this devastating crime.

 

“We’re all committed and all have the same goal. We will ensure we continue to adopt all methods and measures available to drive knife-related criminality down.”