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Redditch Self-Defence

1987. Peter Martin

Peter Martin, from Redditch, is a self-defence instructor who has given free anti-knife crime classes to over 30,000 young people in the town and more widely across the West Midlands in the past decade.

Peter Martin with Rachel Maclean MP

Peter has been teaching self-defence classes since 1989, but it was after a friend was stabbed 12 years ago and nearly died that Peter realised he wanted to do more to engage with young people and prevent them from carrying knives, particularly those at risk of criminal exploitation. Working closely with West Mercia Police, Peter educates young people about the impact of knife crime and has designed a “Jab Don’t Stab” programme using boxing to divert those at risk of offending. Peter has also worked with local businesses to install bleed kits across Redditch, ensuring first aid assistance is more accessible and helping to save lives.

In a personal letter to Peter, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said:

“I want to thank you for all you are doing to teach young people about the dangers of knife crime.

“After nearly losing a friend to a knife attack, you know just how important it is that we get knives off our streets.

“So it is fantastic that you have worked with West Mercia Police to give free anti-knife crime classes to over 30,000 young people in the West Midlands. Your brilliant innovative “Jab Don’t Stab” is helping to divert young people away from violence by channelling their energies into boxing.”

Rachel Maclean, Peter’s local MP, said:

“I’m absolutely thrilled that Peter’s work to make our society a safer and better place has been recognised by the Prime Minister.

“Peter is a complete hero, and that’s an understatement. He has saved lives in our community with his years of relentless work with children and young people, diverting them from violence and building trust.”

Peter said:

“When I received the telephone call from my MP Rachel Maclean to say I had been awarded a Points of Light Award I was shocked. It’s a great honour to be nominated and I am very grateful to be recognised in this way.

“I could not do what I do without the support of our local community and local police team. It is a testament to what communities can do when they work together on a common cause. Thank you.”

Pictured: Rachel Maclean MP with Peter Martin and one of the bleed kits he is distributing across Redditch.

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