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  1. ITV Report

Idris Elba backs mobile campaign to reduce the number of knives on UK streets

Idris Elba is lending his support to a mobile project that travels the length of the country collecting weapons in a bid to reduce the number of knives on the streets.

Last night the actor joined Faron Alex Paul on the streets of London as Paul collected dangerous blades, as part of Faz Amnesty.

The mobile project offers youngsters High Street vouchers in exchange for knives in a bid to reduce the number of weapons on the streets. Knives have since been collected from people across the UK. Once collected, the project hands them over to police.

"It’s all about trust. If a kid is scared of his neighbourhood he isn’t going to go to the police to hand a knife in," Elba said.

He has also urged the Government to look closer into what happens when children get expelled from school and spoke of a decline in the number of youth centres available to youngsters.

His comments come as the prime minister hosts a serious youth violence summit at Number 10, where Theresa May will also meet privately with the families of a number of victims of knife crime to listen to their first-hand experiences of the issue.

Mr Elba acknowledged it would be "unnatural" for kids to give up their protection but said it is often easier when the weapon is not being handed in to police.

The Luther star said: "Some of these kids carry a knife for protection and it’s an unnatural thing to do, to give up your protection if you give up your knife."

  • ITV News National Editor Allegra Stratton explains the issues the government faces in tackling knife crime

Mr Paul said knife crime has "gone beyond bad" and explained he set up Faz Amnesty to "stop all the killings and all the senseless murders".

He told ITV News people would rather hand over their weapons to him rather than the police, as he can relate to them and he only gives out vouchers to branded knives rather than kitchen knives.

Mr Paul said his way of collecting knives is preventing further deaths. He added: "If I'm spending £10 voucher to get a knife and a £20 voucher to get a big one, the choice is yours like that is preventing death."

The Government announced on Monday teachers, nurses and police officers could be held accountable for failing to "spot warning signs" of violent crime among young people.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid floated the idea of a so-called "public health duty" in an effort to ensure "every part of the system works together to support young people".

More than 100 experts will meet this week to explore the scope and impact of new ideas while kick-starting a further programme of action.