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Emergency boxes aimed at providing urgent assistance to victims of knife crime have been launched in Leicester as part of a strategy on knife crime and serious violence.

The boxes contain vital medical kit – similar to boxes that contain a defibrillator – and are being installed across the city to help someone who is experiencing severe blood loss while awaiting an ambulance.

They have been installed at key community locations as part of Leicester City Council’s knife crime and serious violence strategy.

Picture: Leicester City Council

One of the strategy’s over-arching commitments is to enhance the feeling of safety in outdoor spaces by improving the physical infrastructure of the local environment.

As a result, the emergency boxes have been located in areas that supported the development of the knife crime and serious violence strategy through ‘community conversations’– which demonstrated communities are determined to work with the city council, police and other partners to tackle the problem.

Leicester City Council has invested £5,200 to buy and install eight boxes, which are situated in; Cossington Street Sports Centre, Belgrave, The Grove Community Hub, Braunstone, E2 Training Centre, Beaumont Leys, New Parks Library, Aylestone Leisure Centre, Eyres Monsell Community Centre, St Matthews Centre and Medway Community Primary School, Highfields.

All the boxes are located in areas where they can be accessed by the public 24/7 upon calling 999.

Training in their use will also be made available for community groups in the area, but in an emergency, anyone calling 999 who is near an emergency kit would be directed to it by operators and talked through what they need to do.

The boxes contain equipment including protective gloves, gauze and dressings to maintain pressure over a wound and stop bleeding. 

The council has worked on the project with voluntary community groups, organisations and families affected by knife crime, including the Daniel Baird Foundation and the AAA Foundation.

The AAA Foundation was set up in memory of 20-year-old Antoin Akpom, who was fatally stabbed in Leicester in 2013, and whose family have been closely involved in the community conversations around Leicester’s knife crime strategy.

Assistant city mayor for neighbourhoods, Cllr Kirk Master, said: “Although in major UK cities, it takes an ambulance an average of only seven minutes to get to the scene of a major emergency, an adult can bleed to death from a catastrophic injury in just four minutes. These cabinets can be vital in bridging this gap. 

“At the heart of our knife crime and serious violence strategy is making communities safer by listening to and working with our communities. This project is doing both, by bringing vital life-saving kit onto our streets with support for communities through relevant training. We hope we never have to use them – and we’re working very hard on preventative strategies so that we don’t have to. But should the worst happen, one of these boxes could mean the difference between life and death.”   

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