Marines’ anti-knife crime operation comes to Leeds gym

Marines’ anti-knife crime operation comes to Leeds gym


A group of children in Leeds have been put through a grueling fitness session by Royal Marines as part of an operation aimed at tackling knife crime.

The Royal Marines have partnered with the Knives Down, Gloves Up campaign in an effort to steer young people away from violence and gang culture.

The initiative’s first event in Yorkshire was held at Bad Company Gym in Leeds on Sunday and was attended by dozens of young people.

One person involved in the campaign said it was also an opportunity for officers to “give something back” to their communities.

Knife crime remains a major problem in West Yorkshire, with 10,000 people arrested in relation to knives in the past five years.

Richard Smith, who owns Bad Company Gym, said activities like martial arts provide an alternative avenue for young people who might otherwise get drawn into a life of crime.

Session aimed at tackling youth knife crime at Bad Company Boxing Gym in LeedsSession aimed at tackling youth knife crime at Bad Company Boxing Gym in Leeds

In addition to boxing techniques, this session also focused on fitness, teamwork, and discipline. [BBC]

He told BBC Look North: “I’m all for this initiative and I’m all for getting that message across. You can see how much fun everyone is having today.”

“Certainly, I’ve seen a number of people who have come through the gym and they could have had a very different life, but the fact that they became Thai fighters. It gave them a purpose in life, a sense of self-worth, and a reason to prove themselves.”

Besides Thai boxing, this session also focused on general fitness and teamwork.

Warrant Officer Dennis Harrison said the initiative was being rolled out across the north of England to teach values ​​of “courage, respect for others and self-discipline”.

Royal Marines WO Dennis HarrisonRoyal Marines WO Dennis Harrison

WO Dennis Harrison said he hoped the initiative would allow Royal Marines officers to “give something back”. [BBC]

He told Look North: “We want to build on the work being done in these gyms and provide an alternative to gang culture and knife crime.

“It’s important to us to give something back to our hometown and this gives us the opportunity to do that and engage with communities where knife crime is prevalent.”

“If we can do something about it, if it saves one child, it’s definitely worth it.”

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