A Stretford funeral director is supporting a campaign to reduce knife crime in the area after helping with a three-day knife amnesty.
The amnesty was organised by Father Ged Murphy from St Ann’s Roman Catholic Church in Stretford, Greater Manchester, in conjunction with Greater Manchester Police.
Father Ged, who felt compelled to do something about knife crime after seeing first-hand the effect it had on families who have suffered losses, asked members of the local community if they could help by monitoring containers for people to dispose of their knives safely and without judgement.
Staff from C L Birkett and Sons Funeral Directors in Stretford, the longest established funeral director in Stretford and Urmston, had no hesitation in taking part, including Paul Birkett who manages both funeral homes.
Paul said: “As a father of four young children the thought of them growing up around knife crime inspired me to get involved. With too many knives being carried by people in the Greater Manchester area and several deaths from knife crime in recent months, we knew something had to be done.
“I felt proud that Father Ged approached us to help with this worthwhile project, and we were pleased to take part. It is important that we work together to help our local community by stamping out knife crime and deterring youngsters from carrying these lethal weapons.”
Paul and the other volunteers monitored the knife disposal bins which were situated inside the Church foyer. Paul added: “As volunteers we all did shifts to monitor the bins and acknowledge the people coming in to dispose of knives. While we don’t know the exact number of knives that were collected over the three days, feedback from the volunteers indicates that we had a good response. We hope this will help to reduce knife crime in our community.”
Father Ged is considering teaming up with other churches to run another knife amnesty in the future.