THE organisers of a new initiative to combat knife crime are looking for an ambassador to lead the campaign in the Bradford district.

'Save a Life, Surrender Your Knife', launched in Birmingham on Friday, aims to bring together anti-knife campaigners across the country to reduce the number of weapons on the streets and make communities safer.

A team from Shropshire-based metalwork firm the British Ironwork Centre, which is leading the campaign, will be touring British cities, providing knife banks and talking to young people to persuade them to surrender their weapons.

The knives will then be used as part of a Knife Angel sculpture, in memory of those who have lost their lives to knife crime.

The campaign is being backed by victims' mothers, including Lisa Minott, mother of Fusilier David Lee Collins, 18, who was stabbed to death outside a nightclub in Cyprus, and Lisa McNeil, mother of Danny Jones, 21, who was stabbed with a replica Lord of the Rings sword in Oswestry, North Wales.

The company's chairman, Clive Knowles, said the tour was likely to reach Bradford early next year.

He said: "We need an ambassador, who knows the communities in Bradford, to help us. The chances are there will be someone in Bradford who has a story to tell and wants to stop it happening to somebody else.

"I would dearly like to speak to any group or individual on behalf of Bradford who can offer us support."

The firm specialises in creating statues of social benefit and decided knife crime was an issue to be highlighted.

Mr Knowles they had pledged to provide 150 knife banks and was grateful to the Home Office for raising awareness of its campaign.

A Home Office spokesman said: "We support all initiatives tackling knife crime. People working in our knife crime unit have met the organisers of this initiative.

"Knife crime causes misery for victims and can wreck whole communities. That is why the unlawful possession of a bladed or pointed article or offensive weapon is already a serious criminal offence, carrying a maximum custodial sentence of four years.

"We have created a new offence of aggravated knife possession for those who carry a knife in a public place or in a school and go on to threaten and cause an immediate risk of serious physical harm to another person. This offence carries a minimum sentence of six months' imprisonment for an adult and a four-month detention and training order for a 16 or 17-year-old.

"The Government is also considering whether there is a case for further changes to be made to the sentencing framework for knife possession."

Anyone from Bradford who wants to support the initiative can contact the centre on freephone 0800 975 5717.