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http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/sp...nd-they-can-kill/story-fn5da6zx-1225853817089

HUNDREDS of knives have been seized at Melbourne's courts in the past year, despite laws that make it illegal to carry a blade without a lawful excuse.

More than one in 10 of the 18,211 prohibited items confiscated by security staff at city courts were knives.

The haul shows a decade of state government attempts has done little to dissuade people from carrying knives.

Criticism of the city's troubling knife culture has deepened over the summer months, as assaults involving knives spiked during longer daylight hours, hotter weather and heavier alcohol consumption.

A court spokesman said any person caught with a prohibited weapon or without a lawful excuse for carrying a knife was handed over to police.

Police could not say how many people caught carrying knives into courts were charged.

One police source said it was a daily occurrence for officers to be called to courts by security staff to deal with someone caught with a blade.

Deputy Commissioner Kieran Walshe said police were concerned with the growing knife culture and people who considered it acceptable to carry a knife or edged weapon as part of their normal daily behaviour.

"Any person who believes they can bring a prohibited weapon into a court will likely face criminal proceedings and there are a range of security measures in place to detect these items," he said.

According to documents released to the Herald Sun under Freedom of Information laws, an average 40 knives a week were seized in the city's Supreme, County and Magistrates' courts in 2009.

The collection included 969 pocket knives, 216 Stanley knives, 207 Swiss Army knives, and 440 others including kitchen knives, pen knives, lock knives and butterfly knives.

Police report that armed people are nearly 10 per cent more likely to have knives this year than in 2009.

Last financial year, 2002 knife offences were investigated by police, including 58 cases where children aged 10-14 were caught with bladed weapons, a 45 per cent increase on the previous year.

Mr Walshe appealed to parents to know what their kids were up to outside home and talk with them about not carrying knives.

"Talk to them about how knives are not defensive," he said.

He applauded new on-the-spot fines as an effective way of inflicting immediate consequences on bad behaviour. "Immediate consequences will have a far better ability to provide a deterrent effect in the minds of young people."

Halfway into a month-long knife amnesty, police have collected 70 weapons, including 23 knives and 17 swords. Mr Walshe said police were pleased with the number of weapons handed in and he encouraged people to continue to take advantage of this opportunity.

RMIT criminologist Julian Bondy appealed to the Government to do more than introduce cheap and relatively ineffective measures that he says have done little more than assuage Victorian voters that politicians are tough on knife crime.

Associate Professor Bondy said key measures put into place in the fight against knives - the amnesty, increased penalties and police search powers - did not include any significant funding.

"In some ways, the Government just battens down the hatches after the damaging spike from summer months and waits for cooler weather," he said. "We are identifying potential future offenders - as young as 10 and 11 - but we are lacking effective intervention measures to help change the course of these children's lives."

He said the Government needed to give more money to cash-strapped intervention programs, as well as consider ways to stop young, otherwise law-abiding Victorians from carrying knives for self-defence.

"We need to think laterally - maybe something like state-subsidised self-defence courses - in getting on top of this problem."

He called on the Government to properly fund an advertising and education campaign that would confront young people with past offenders or people affected by knife crime, to show how lives could be ruined.

Opposition Leader Ted Baillieu said his promise of 1600 extra police on the street would help reduce knife crimes.

"The lack of police on our streets under John Brumby means people increasingly carry knives because they believe they won't get caught and because they are afraid of being attacked," he said.

Police Minister Bob Cameron said the Government was concerned about people, especially young people, carrying weapons.

"This is why we have taken tough action to increase police powers around weapons searches and to increase weapons penalties," he said.

"We have introduced tough new random weapon search powers for police because we believe the rights of people not to be stabbed outweigh concerns people might have over being subjected to random weapons searches."

Other items seized in the courts included batons, screwdrivers, laser lights, scissors, forks, syringes, needles, razor blades, spray cans, whistles, alcohol and even a chainsaw.

Many items are banned from courts and most are returned when a person leaves.
The bolded bits are the bits that cause particularly high amounts of anger to build up within me. I mean whistles? Seriously? they are writing an article on how dangerous knives are, sprouting numbers like 18,000 prohibited items, and some of them are whistles and forks? Dont forget the menacing looking pair of scissors in the article.

The herald sun has a section going on at the moment, I guarantee going there and reading some of the comments will get you annoyed.

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/co...-knives-campaign/story-e6frf7jo-1225868666083

COLLINGWOOD star Harry O'Brien has told how he witnessed a stabbing when he was 12 as he prepares to front an anti-knives campaign to be launched on Friday.

The Magpies defender will spearhead the campaign, a joint initiative between the Collingwood Football Club and the State Government.

The campaign will be launched by the Magpies at its blockbuster match against the Cats on Friday night.

O'Brien said he was keen to push the message that knives ruin lives after seeing first-hand the consequences blades can have.

"I witnessed my first stabbing when I was 12 years of age at a skate park," O'Brien said.

"I saw how quickly something can turn into a tragedy. The greatest form of self defence is having the power to walk away."

The campaign coincides with news that 810 knives and dangerous weapons were surrendered to police during its amnesty last month - an increase of 78 per cent on last year's amnesty.

At least 90,000 people are expected to attend the Knives Scar Lives game, with hundreds of thousands more to watch the live telecast.

Acting Premier Rob Hulls said the Pies had joined an important cause.

"This is a significant partnership that will go a long way towards changing the perception that carrying a knife offers some form of self defence," Mr Hulls said.

"Too many young people see knives as defensive weapons or think carrying a knife somehow makes them cool."

Police Minister Bob Cameron said Victoria Police's weapons amnesty in April saw 810 dangerous knives and weapons handed to police.

He said the increase in weapons surrended compared to a similar amnesty last year was good news.

"This means more dangerous weapons are off the street and out of harm's way," he said.
"The greatest form of self defence is to walk away" WTF IS HE F'N SERIOUS ?? I suggest he goes to the nearest hospital, finds all the stabbing and rape victims, and tells them "look, the best defense is to walk away" and find out what they have to say.

Some instances, yes you can walk away, and if you have the opportunity to do that then sure, go for it. You cant just "walk away" from a mugging or a rape attempt though.

"I'm preaching to the converted etc etc" yes yes, I know, i'm just having another rant.

I cant wait till the US grants Australians refugee status (although they have their own set of problems over there)

Arrrggg, all this stuff makes me so annoyed.

I'm going to post the above in the section of the forum all the Americans read... see what they have to say :p
 

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"Deputy Commissioner Kieran Walshe said police were concerned with the growing knife culture and people who considered it acceptable to carry a knife or edged weapon as part of their normal daily behaviour."

Is their reasoning behind it being unacceptable to carry a knife every day because knives are solely designed to kill people? If so, I have half a mind to go and bludgeon someone with my mobile phone or stab someone with a set of keys. Knives have uses other than killing people! I really wonder; if people started beating each other to death with mobile phones would the government require you to have a lawful reason to carry one; with "for general use" being unacceptable as an excuse. "You must either be travelling to or from a place where you will use your mobile phone for a government sanctioned activity;as anything else is the equivalent of murdering a group of innocent children carrying cute puppies."

Even if we aren't allowed to carry a knife for protection, that doesn't mean we shouldn't be allowed to carry it for everyday use.

Also, back onto defensive use of a knife, what the hell is with the "Talk to them about how knives are not defensive" bit? Do knives only work for murdering people? If I try to defend myself with it will it suddenly melt away? Or do they simply mean that anything other than running away or submitting to a criminal are 'offensive'?

I think the strangest thing of all is that these laws are being made from the point of view that there are no real criminals; only kids who get angry at each other and knife each other - if they had no knives there'd be no crime. What about the rest of the population?? You know; the ones who are concerned about getting mugged/bashed/raped/murdered, rather than concerned that someone will hurt their feelings so they need to knife them?
 
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