One of Nottingham’s top cops is urging young men to stand up and show others that carrying a knife is cowardly, dangerous and wrong.
Chief Superintendent Mike Manley, who took over as the city’s divisional commander for Nottinghamshire Police last week, says that lives could be saved if the message is received.
The warning comes after a series of violent and tragic knife crimes in Nottingham - including the murder of Bulwell’s Joshua Bradley who was caught up in a fight that escalated out of control in the city centre and stabbed in the heart.
Chief Superintendent Manley said: “What concerns me is when you have cases, like Joshua Bradley, where other people were present who knew the attacker was carrying a knife. These people will end up getting caught up in an investigation and are risking their futures by not having the courage to stand up and say it’s wrong.
“If people know their friends are going out armed with a knife, I want them to challenge them. Carrying a knife is disgraceful and it’s cowardly.
“You could be protecting your friends if you tell us before it’s too late.”
In July Richard Johnson was jailed for life at Nottingham Crown Court after he was found guilty of stabbing 19-year-old Joshua, after the teenager stepped in to defend a friend in a fight on Thurland Street in the early hours of Sunday February 8.
Judge Gregory Dickinson QC told Johnson: “This is an illustration of why Parliament has specified the starting point for those who commit murder using a knife taken to the scene intending to have it available to be used as a weapon.
“Joshua Bradley was a much loved son, brother, nephew and friend. These people have, I fear many others have too, suffered a devastating loss.”
Chief Inspector Mark Stanley, who works as part of a partnership between Nottingham City Council and the police, said: “If you’re a young person who knows someone going out with weapons, let someone know.
“You could be saving not only their life, but somebody else’s too.”
To report anyone you suspect is carrying a knife in public, call police on 101 or speak to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.