Merseyside-based waste management firm, Inciner8, is continuing its work with national knife crime-fighting charity, Steel Warriors, by taking knives off UK streets and recycling them into public gyms.
Home Office data shows knife crime in Merseyside is on the rise, with statistics revealing that a total of 1,181 incidents involving knives or sharp instruments were reported between October 2017 and September 2018, an increase of 33% on the previous 12 months. This trend mirrors national figures, with ONS data showing there were 285 fatal stabbings in England and Wales in the 12 months ending March 2018 – the highest figure since records began in 1946.
Inciner8 recently received its second haul of confiscated knives, weighing in at six tonnes, which it will support in melting down into steel that can be easily moulded to create callisthenics outdoor gyms.
The first Steel Warriors gym in Tower Hamlet, which was constructed from two tonnes of seized knives, has been a huge success, attracting local residents and fitness tourists alike. It is extremely popular with people aged 14 – 23 and is helping to keep youths off the streets in an area with high levels of recorded knife crime.
Steel Warriors was founded in 2017 by Ben Wintour, 27, and Pia Fontes, 24, after deciding something had to be done to change the image of knives and the crime associated with them. After liaising with the Metropolitan Police, the pair set up an initiative to recycle all the confiscated and surrendered knives that come into police possession each month.
Inciner8’s recycling process melts the handles off the weapons, which can then be reworked into bars, platforms and other functional gym equipment, providing a unique workout space for people of all ages.
“We’re extremely proud to be one of the founding partners with Steel Warriors,” says Duncan Sandford, commercial manager at Inciner8. “Knife crime has to stop, and this initiative is one amazing way of re-using these deadly weapons and turning them into something positive, something useful, and something that really serves the community.”
Inciner8 shares its partnership duties with several other high profile UK businesses, as well as ambassadors Anthony Joshua and Ross Kemp.
“The Metropolitan Police recently sent a second batch of knives to us for processing,” continues Sandford. “Our incinerators are at work melting them down now, so we can keep supporting Steel Warriors in removing even more knives from the streets and making a continued difference.
“Some of the confiscated knives that come into our possession really open your eyes to the deadly weapons that are being carried around the streets every day. As well as helping to make the region’s streets safer, our partnership takes us a step closer to our goal of building the first Steel Warriors outdoor gym in the North West, in partnership with the region’s Police forces.”