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Runcorn 'knife sweep' finds samurai sword near community centre

Samurai sword found in undergrowth Image copyright LDRS
Image caption The sword was found within metres of the community centre

A samurai sword has been discovered in undergrowth near a community centre by volunteers taking part in a "knife sweep" of their local streets.

The weapon was found within metres of Murdishaw Community Centre in Runcorn and close to two primary schools.

It was one of more than 30 weapons found in two months by Live Your Life Drop The Knife and Cheshire Police.

The group was started after the fatal stabbing of 18-year-old Eddie O'Rourke in Halton Village in September.

Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Eddie O'Rourke, pictured with his mother Jane White, died after being found outside a club

Mr O'Rourke, from The Clough, Runcorn, died in hospital after being found with a "serious injury" outside the Royal British Legion club on 7 September.

Two boys, aged 15 and 17, have been charged with his murder.

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Group founder Louis Bamber told the Local Democracy Reporting Service the "knife sweeps" had uncovered bolt cutters, hammers, a mallet, a baseball bat and a meat fork, as well as a number of knives.

Image copyright LDRS
Image caption A number of other weapons and several nitrous oxide canisters have also been found

Addressing a meeting at Runcorn Town Hall on Tuesday, Mr Bamber said the organisation's aim was to send "a clear message that we will not tolerate the behaviour of fighting with knives or other weapons".

"If you are hiding them, we will find them and they will be destroyed," he said.

"But we also want to educate those between the ages of five and 25 [about] the consequences of knife crime and the impacts it can have."

Alongside the community searches, the organisation also intends to work with schools, colleges, businesses and sports clubs to provide education about knife crime to the local area.

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