‘Knife wands’ introduced across town centre bars and clubs

Danny Fox died in September 2016 after he was stabbed during a night out in St Helens town centre
Danny Fox died in September 2016 after he was stabbed during a night out in St Helens town centre

Bars and clubs across St Helens will use ‘knife wands’ following a series of stabbings in the town centre.

The move comes following a number of attacks, including the murder of popular former doorman Danny Fox.

Danny Fox's family has campaigned for better awareness of knife crime

Danny Fox's family has campaigned for better awareness of knife crime

Danny’s family has led a campaign to reduce knife crime following his death in September 2016.

The campaign - a joint initiative by St Helens Council and local police - will see door staff at 27 clubs and bars using the hand-held devices.

Wands can be quickly swept over revellers before entry to detect whether they are carrying any weapons.

Lynda Ashton, Danny Fox’s mum, said: “My life sentence started in the early hours of Friday, September 2, 2016. Looking forward, we hope to prevent other families going through this horrendous nightmare and the life sentence that we are now living, without our beloved son.

“I wish I could make people understand that my grief will last forever because my love for Daniel will last forever; that the loss of a child is not one finite event, it is a continuous loss that will unfold minute by minute, second by second over the course of my lifetime.”

The council is also focusing its work on promoting better understanding of the dangers of knives among secondary school age children through a series of educational initiatives.

Coun Lisa Preston, cabinet member for community safety, said: “It’s crucial that we educate children and young people about the dangers and consequences of carrying knives.

“A minority of young people are carrying knives in the belief that this will keep them safe, when in fact a third of all knife related injuries are caused by the victim’s own knife.

“This mind-set is misguided and creates dangerous and potentially lethal situations.

“The impact of knife crime on families and the wider community cannot be understated – it is destructive and toxic, and we must do everything we can to raise awareness from an early age and reduce incidents in our borough.

“The deployment of knife wands in St Helens bars and clubs will act as a deterrent to those few people who think carrying a knife is acceptable, and I’d like to thank local bar owners and licensees for their support of the campaign.”

Superintendent Louise Harrison, area commander for St Helens, said: “Merseyside Police is committed to ensuring that the people who live, work and visit St Helens and the greater Merseyside area feel safe and reassured.

“Work has been ongoing with our partners to address the issue of knife crime and the introduction of knife wands for bars and clubs in St Helens town centre is the latest preventative work we are supporting.

“We have also carried out test purchasing, open land searches, and educational activity with schools and have worked alongside health professionals and the families of knife crime victims, including Danny Fox, to promote the #NoMoreKnives campaign.

“We know that we cannot tackle the issue alone and I would urge the community to support and help us by spreading the message that it is never acceptable to carry or use a knife and remind people the devastation caused both to the families of knife crime victims and those who commit offences.”