'Like fires everywhere': West Midlands becomes a youth knife-crime hotspot

The causes are numerous and complex, but it is the scale and the age of those involved that alarms adults on the frontline

With a metallic creak, the door to one of Birmingham’s “weapons surrender bins” opened to reveal a plethora of blades, from kitchen knives to karambits, claw-shaped knives commonly used in south-east Asian martial arts which have lately featured in some computer games.

It was a collection that had been building in the windswept car park of a church in the Hockley area of the city before being unlocked last week.

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