By Annie Williams
Concern is growing on the increase in knife crime that takes place within the city’s nightlife.
Since October last year there has been a continuous string of attacks in Liverpool’s nightlife scene, which has pushed Merseyside Police to address the issue and try and tackle the increasing knife crime rate.
Merseyside Police launched Operation Hickory last week, which seen pop-up knife arches erected outside popular venues in the centre, aimed to reduce the number of stabbings that take place in the city’s club land.
The operation saw hundreds of members of the public pass through full body detectors in order to gain access to multiple of popular bars.
The initiative launched on Friday 2nd this month, the same night a man was slashed across the face outside a popular Liverpool City Centre venue.
Police were called to Camp & Furnace after a fight broke out at a cancer charity event last week, which led to a man in his 20’s being knifed across the face with a blade.
The victim was rushed to hospital for treatment and is said to have suffered severe injuries.
Unfortunately knife crime is not a new topic on Liverpool’s streets. In October last year, a 17-year-old was hospitalized after suffering a “puncture wound” after two men rode past her on push bikes in Litherland, stabbing her in the back of the head.
In November, a student at Liverpool John Moores University was stabbed in the stomach when returning from the library one evening after a man robbed her purse.
The loss of 21-year-old Sam Cook last year has been a dominant figure in the movement of tackling knife crime.
Sam Cook was stabbed in popular club Empire nightclub in October last year. Following his death, over 10,000 people signed a petition calling for metal detectors to be installed in Liverpool clubs.
As a result of the petition, in December Mayor Joe Anderson issued for 100 city venues to receive knife wands, which would detect if any partygoers were carrying knives.
Since October, there have been six reports of deaths caused by knife crime in Merseyside.
Mayor Anderson declared he wanted to make Liverpool’s nightlife safer, writing: “Since the tragic death of Sam, we have been working closely with Merseyside police as well as bars and clubs in the city centre, to look at ways we can tackle this issue and prevent anything as senseless as this happening again.
“We are sending out the message that carrying and using knives is totally and utterly unacceptable and we hope by introducing these wands, it will act as a deterrent and as a result reassure people planning to enjoy a night out here.”
Parents of Sam Cook attended the launch of the operation on Friday night, assisting Merseyside Police officers in monitoring the process.
Police said the initiative is “supported by our partners including local authorities, health professionals, the Police and Crime Commissioner, St Helens Rugby Club and the families of knife crime victims Danny Fox and Sam Cook.”
Social media users are backing the campaign, with thousands already taking to twitter with the hashtag ‘#NoMoreKnives’. Twitter user @lessoncasts wrote: It’s a good idea but behind the times, in South Africa, they have these installed in pubs, bars, clubs, banks and even restaurants.”
Friday’s action was the start of an ongoing police operation to tackle knife crime locally, with further developments expected in the #NoMoreKnives crackdown.