Tory MP suggests people 'get fitter' to avoid knife attacks 1 year ago

Tory MP suggests people 'get fitter' to avoid knife attacks

Senior police chiefs have dismissed the suggestion

Conservative MP Sir Christopher Chope, has suggested that people 'get fitter' to protect themselves from knife attacks.

The suggestion came after MP for Christchurch asked senior police chiefs if they backed his idea of "increasing the encouragement" for young people to take part in martial arts, in order to teach them how to defend themselves better in a knife attack.

The Tory MP told chief constable of West Midlands Police, Dave Thompson, at the Commons' home affairs select committee: "One of the ways in which people can be prepared is by, for example, doing judo, taekwondo, being physically able and taught how to deal with a situation where you are threatened with a knife.

"Do you think there's something to be said for actually increasing the encouragement of young people so they don't have to take a knife out?

"They can protect themselves by actually knowing how to deal with such an incident were it to arise."


Police chiefs dismissed the suggestion, with Thompson telling him that the best thing to do is to "run away as fast as you can."

Chope insisted that "you need to be fit to do that", implying that combat lessons would be an effective alternative. But Thompson was not convinced. He reiterated that: "people have got to run away."

"I'd probably not advocated a strategy of increasing the combat readiness and martial arts of young people in general,"he said.

Chope compared his idea to women learning how to deal with men who might get violent towards them.

"In the same way as a lot of young women are taught how to deal with men who get violent or threatening towards them," he said.

Chope's idea may have good intentions, but it is another example of treating the symptom and not the cause.