• County Lines

Carry a Knife or Lose Your Life

An interview with an ex-County Lines Boss about knife crime. "Stab or be stabbed?" "Carrying a knife was a necessity of the job. Everyone carried knives, even my customers after there was a spate of robberies. A guy was going about robbing their shit, so they chose to protect themselves. Most of the time I carried a small double edged lock knife; you can conceal those better. But if you got wind someone was going to jack you- I'd carry a big knife, a machete. People would back down straight away. The first time I ever used a blade, someone came round my mates to rob my weed grow. Two lads with balaclavas on, I pulled out a huge machete. Thinking I was alone; one guy pulled out a blade, the other one pulled out a hammer. But my mate was with me and when he came out with a aluminium baseball bat they backed off. With a blade there's the saying "guns for show, knives for pros". You see a gun coming but you don't see a knife coming. I was 21 when I first got stabbed was with a screwdriver. I got stabbed in the thigh, but didn't really feel it to be honest. I felt like I had a dead leg, then felt something wet- that's when I realised I was bleeding. I was trying to rob someone for his whole pack. That was the outcome. Even though I had a machete, when I stood over him holding it to his neck, he kicked it back and stuck the screwdriver in my leg. Most of the time knives are just for intimidation. But you come across a young kid who thinks he's a man and has got something to prove? That's when it goes wrong. Nowadays, what with County Lines, there are a lot of those kids kicking about on the streets. That's why knife crime has shot up. You're a kid with a grown arse man backing down from you? Makes them feel like they're king of the world. Those kids don't just have to prove themselves, they have to protect what they're carrying or they're going to pay. They have to protect their lives. Generally If someone is intent on using a blade, they don't pull it out and show it to you, they won't threaten you with it. They just pull it out and use it on you. If you know the laws, you know the different charges that go with stabbing someone above the waistline, versus stabbing someone below. Most young kids know what I'm talking about. They have it set. The law is dumb when it comes to stabbing. If you draw a knife across the back of someone's knee, it will sever the coroted artery, and your bleed out in under four minutes. You die. But because that's below the waist? Not attempted murder. Instead it's classed as assault with a bladed article; and if they die it's death by misadventure or involuntary manslaughter. Say you cut someone across the arm or the chest; that can be classed as an attempted murder! That law; above and below the waistline, needs to change. I'm not scared of being stabbed because 75% of the time, that person is pulling a knife out and telling you they are going to stab you; which means they're probably not going to use it, it's all bravado. The other 25%? I'm well trained in how to defend myself against someone with a knife. Maybe I've just lost my fear of knives because I've seen so many of them."

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