REDDITCH is being used as a unique experiment to help beat Britain's rising knife crime crisis.

Free gym passes will be handed out by police to young people in the town so they can access a local gym completely free of charge.

The idea is to steer young people away from crime.

It comes from Pete Martin from the Redditch Selfdefence Association and will see members of the association, as well as local PCSOs, handing out passes in and around the town and at schools.

The passes can be used at Kelly Phasey Fitness on Windsor Road Redditch.

READ MORE: Redditch Anti-knife campaigner teaches self-defence in classes

Anti-knife campaigner Mr Martin admitted that the idea has only just started.

"The aim is to lead young people into positive activities and away from anti-social behaviour and knife crime," he said.

"We have already stopped some young people carrying knives and helped some back into fulltime education."

"I got the idea as we are working in partnership with West Mercia Police, and the local PCSOs have been told to refer any teens to our facility for free training.

"It is also being run alongside Redditch Borough Council which is supporting us and are funding free boxing and self-defence sessions on a Friday evening."

Mr Martin, who has visited 12 schools this year and spoken to around 2,000 young people about the dangers of knife crime, added this and other work the group does would not be possible without the support of police inspector Mark Chappell and Redditch councillor Pattie Hill.

"I could not imagine eight years ago when I started the association that we would be able to have such a big impact on the community," he said.

"Without the support of Mark Chappell and Pattie Hill we would not have been able to achieve anywhere near as much. We have a lot more work to do though - this is just the start."

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