Tory MP says knife crime targets could protect themselves by 'being fitter'

Teenagers who are at risk from knife attacks should get fitter so they can run away, a Tory MP has claimed.

Christopher Chope suggested that potential targets of knife crime attacks might be able to help themselves by staying in shape. 

In a bizarre question, while Home Affairs Select committee were quizzing top cops, the Christchurch MP said teenagers should train themselves to “deal with the situation” – rather than carrying a knife themselves.

He said: “It’s an alternative. So if they say ‘well I’m carrying a knife because I want to protect myself,’ an alternative to that is actually to protect yourself by actually being fitter and more able to deal with that sort of attack.

Christopher Chope is a controversial figure in Parliament


“In the same way as a lot of young women are taught how to deal with men who get violent or threatening towards them.”

Met Police Commissioner Cressida Dick and Chief Constable of the West Midlands Police Dave Thompson did their best to answer Mr Chope’s question.

Cressida Dick praised sport programmes for diverting teens from violence

Chief Constable Thompson said the “best knife prevention technique is to run away, as fast as you can” but stopped short of encouraging kids to take up martial arts. 

Commissioner Cressida Dick said sport could stop young people “getting into trouble”.

The Chief Constable stopped short of recommending martial arts


It comes as Theresa May announced she will gather experts and community leaders at Downing Street on April 1 to explore ways to tackle the problem.

She originally told MPs on March 6 that the summit would take place “in the coming days” and shadow policing minister Louise Haigh criticised the delay, saying it was “high time” for the Government to take action.

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