Halifax knife crime campaigner welcomes police operation - but urges officers to do more

A police operation tackling knife crime in Halifax has been welcomed by a local campaigner.

Thursday, 14th October 2021, 2:31 pm
Updated Thursday, 14th October 2021, 2:32 pm
Nikki Kelly (right) with Casey's dad Paul Badhams and auntie Mandy O'Shea

Nikki Kelly, who called for a knife amnesty in North Halifax after the death of Casey Badhams, praised officers for carrying out a test purchasing operation checking for shops selling blades to under 18s.

But she wants to see police do more.

The police operation resulted in two trimming knives being sold to underage shoppers - one by a shop in Ovenden and another in Illingworth.

"It’s great to see the police are taking the issue seriously with the test purchase operation, with this hopefully being just one of many elements the police will be implementing to tackle knife crime," said Nikki.

"It's concerning that two locations where the purchases were successful we’re both in North Halifax.

"While I welcome the news that the neighbourhood policing team will work more closely with those shops involved in the selling of knives to underage shoppers, I would like to see this team have a more visible presence in our communities and work closely with our young people who would really benefit from this kind of engagement."

The Conservative council candidate and Mixenden resident joined members of Casey's family to call for a knife amnesty after the 21-year-old was stabbed and died on Myrtle Avenue in Ovenden.

As reported by the Courier, West Yorkshire Police announced last week that it had carried out an operation to check for shops selling knives to under 18s, doing test purchases at 37 stores across Calderdale.

Sergeant Anna Law, of Calderdale Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “This operation allowed us to identify shops and retailers who we need to work more closely with to prevent knife crime.

“We are able to offer better education to the two stores which failed, to ensure there aren’t any reoccurrences, and to highlight their responsibility as we continue to tackle the issue of knife crime.

“It is reassuring to see that 35 stores passed the test purchase operation and refused to sell a knife to underage the shoppers.

“This shows dedication from our communities in helping us put a stop to the illegal use of knives on the streets of Calderdale.

“West Yorkshire Police and our partners are committed to tackling violent crime and we will continue to carry out operations such as this one to ensure we are all working together to prevent violent crimes in our district.

“Across the county, West Yorkshire Police continue to tackle knife crime and violent crime under ‘Operation Jemlock’."