“We’re not going to the police because we know how it ends.”
Those are the words of a young black man in south London, who is handing over a 2ft-long sharpened samurai sword to an anti-knife campaigner in a car park.
Faron Alex Paul is a father of two, and has been attacked twice with a knife. He’s been stabbed a total of nine times.
Now, he uses his Instagram page to make contact with those who want to dispose of knives but don’t want to go to the police themselves.
Mr Paul meets them, and exchanges the weapons for shop vouchers. He takes the weapons to police without telling them who he got them from.
Not surprisingly he wears a stab vest for his clandestine encounters and has received a fearsome array of blades of all sizes, including two heavy hunting knives from a single mum who confiscated them from her children.
In this tense encounter, witnessed by Sky News, the south Londoner handing over the Samurai sword said he had taken it from another young person he knows, and said: “Everyone’s running around with things like this.”
When asked what the Home Secretary Sajid Javid and the police can do about knife crime, he said: “I don’t think them lot have a clue, they don’t have a clue.”
The anonymous man said he wouldn’t take the weapon to the police directly because “they’ll probably point the finger at me.
“If I leave my home, within two minutes they’ll search me anyway, how would I explain what my purpose is with that?”
He adds: “A young black guy walking down the street with something as ridiculous as that, you already know how that story ends.”
The samurai sword is delivered immediately to Plumstead police station where startled staff quickly take it from Mr Paul, explaining later they didn’t know he wasn’t going to use it.
The self-proclaimed vigilante told officers that as he lived in north London he didn’t want to drive through the capital with a deadly weapon, so took it to the nearest police station to hand over.
The blade was secured in a plastic tube and another lethal knife was no longer on the streets.
Mr Paul says he takes knives out of circulation because he can and that ultimately it makes his children safer.
He wants the authorities to back initiatives like his, acting as a middleman for those who carry knives rather than expecting them to hand in their hardware to the police directly.
(c) Sky News 2019: The man making London safer – one blade at a time