There were 64 children caught with a knife or other offensive weapons in 2015 in the West Midlands, up from 18 in 2013, according to figures released by police.
Crimestoppers, alongside the Sunday Mirror, held its second â€˜Drop the Knifeâ€™ summit in Birmingham at West Midlands Fire Service HQ, following on from the first event that was held in London.
As was the case in London, the panel was made up of representatives from Crimestoppers, government, law enforcement and campaigners. An invited audience gathered to voice their views on issues raised by the panel, and on knife crime and how to tackle it.
Derek Webley, lead on crime at the Police and Crime Commissionerâ€™s Office, was the first panelist to speak. He highlighted the impact of knife crime on the victimâ€™s family and the impact on the community.
Mr Webley outlined that there was more work that needed to be done, but that it was going to take time, and those in the room would play a big part in helping bring the number of incidents down.
DCI Ian Parnell, knife crime lead at West Midlands Police, agreed with Mr Webley. He stated that the force â€œcouldnâ€™t arrest its way out of the problem,â€ and that communities would have a big part to play.
Some of those assembled in the audience questioned DCI Parnell as to what the force was doing if they couldnâ€™t arrest their way out of the problem. DCI Parnell indicated that engaging with the right people working with youngsters within communities was proving hugely beneficial.
The panel was also joined by local metal worker Alfie Bradley. Alfie has been working on a sculpture of an angel comprised of seized knives from every police force across the country.
The idea behind the sculpture is to highlight the number of knives retrieved by the forces â€“ over 1,000 â€“ but to try and turn them into something positive.
The panel was rounded up by Alison Cope, who lost her son Josh, a promising rapper, to knife crime after he was stabbed to death in 2013.
Alison has worked tirelessly since losing her son to campaign and raise awareness about knife crime. She regularly goes into schools, engaging with young people about the dangers of carrying a knife, and the impact it can have on so many lives.
Alison presented a video to the audience about her son, portraying the life that he lived. While she admits he â€œwasnâ€™t an angel,â€ he was a young man who had ambitions, goals and dreams, which were tragically taken away.
Once again the event was opened up for questions and answers, with some heated debates amongst the audience. This was no bad thing, and simply highlighted the passion and care that people have for their community.
The overriding view is that there is still much to be done, but with the people in the room all pulling in the same direction, there is more chance of this happening.
From left to right: DCI Ian Parnell (knife crime lead at West Midlands Police), Adrian Tudway of Crimestoppers, Alison Cope, Derek Webley (lead on crime, Police and Crime Commissioners Office), Alfie Bradley (local metal worker and artist)
Derek Webley, lead on crime at the Police and Crime Commissioners Office
Member of the audience at Birmingham Drop the Knife
Local metal worker and artist Alfie Bradley with West Midlands Regional Manager Pauline Hadley
Crimestoppers Director of Operations Adrian Tudway with Alison Cope