A MAN from Worcestershire has launched a petition that he hopes will go towards tackling knife crime and deterring criminals in the UK.

Callum Archer, from Droitwich, set up a petition to try to legalise and licence self-defence tools as a way for people to defend themselves in a vulnerable situation.

Statistics obtained by the House of Commons show offences involving a knife or sharp object (excluding Greater Manchester and Devon and Cornwall) increased by 6 per cent in 2023 compared to the previous year. 

The law currently permits people to defend themselves or others, to prevent crime or to protect property using force that was reasonable in the circumstances as they believed them to be - but what constitutes reasonable force only depends upon the circumstances of each case.

Pepper sprays are classified under the Firearms Act 1968 as a weapon capable of the discharge of a noxious liquid, gas or other and are regarded as a prohibited firearm.

If an individual is arrested and accused of possessing pepper spray, the police will have to submit the device for forensic examination.

We contacted West Mercia Police who passed our request on to the National Police Chief's Council who declined to comment further after providing the relevant laws relating to self defence tools.

Mr Archer, aged 26, believes that every UK citizen has the right to protect themselves as he hopes access to self-defence tools, such as pepper spray and tasers, will be granted.

"It's mainly to do with knife crime that is happening around the country," he said.

"It's a way to help civilians have access to these defensive tools and have the possibility to deter criminals and subdue the enemy.

"You get a lot of situations unfortunately where people are vulnerable to attack from those who carry illegal weapons, whether it's knife crime or sexual assault.

"I'm not saying legalising defensive tools would be for everyone but it would give people the chance to apply for a licence, be given the right training and be granted access to police equipment."

People who wish to sign the petition can do so by visiting this link: https://chng.it/PBbq8nDbmC 

"I hope as many people as possible sign it," he said.

"Something that would be big enough to make an imprint.

"I'd like it to be heard by other places such as on the news and go on and talk about it because the situation needs talking about.

"It is something I am very serious about. Having a tool to allow you to prevent situations or help others no matter where you are is important."

Mr Archer stressed his plea was not pushing for all UK citizens should be armed with defensive tools but to be allowed to defend themselves of loved ones.

"People will always abuse weapons, but it's better to have it rather than nothing.

"It's a chance to help law-abiding citizens and give people the chance to stand up for themselves - I think it would be a good step in the right direction."