Birmingham teen's two-word reply after his knife discovered on school bus

-Credit: (Image: Augustus Stewart)
-Credit: (Image: Augustus Stewart)


A city teen and aspiring footballer found to be carrying a large knife on the way to school had a two-word reply to the man who stopped him. The year nine student was understood to be on the way to school with a number of other children on a city bus, when he was stopped by ex-criminal and knife crime educator Augustus Stewart.

Ironically, Augustus was on the way to the child's school as part of a programme where he delivers powerful knife crime talks to teens attending schools that are often embroiled in Birmingham's postcode wars. Augustus told BirminghamLive he picked up from the teen's "demeanour" that he was carrying a knife.

"I took a knife off a 14 year old child on the school bus" he told us. He asked if the child was carrying a 'shank', to which he confirmed he was. Augustus explained: "I was able to find out a bit more about him but like a lot [of other teens] they are caught up in the culture of knife crime and the peer pressure.

READ MORE: Gangs using Birmingham chicken shops to recruit kids into life of crime on 'wild streets'

Want the latest headlines and breaking news emailed to your inbox? Sign up here, it’s free.

An aspiring footballer and city teen had this knife taken off him by a Birmingham knife crime campaigner who happened to be on his way to the child's school to deliver a talk on the dangers of knife crime. Pictured: The knife after it was seized from the teen and safely disposed of -Credit:Augustus Stewart
An aspiring footballer and city teen had this knife taken off him by a Birmingham knife crime campaigner who happened to be on his way to the child's school to deliver a talk on the dangers of knife crime. Pictured: The knife after it was seized from the teen and safely disposed of -Credit:Augustus Stewart

"He wants to become a professional footballer. I asked what would have happened if he had used that." Augustus then shared his remarkable story with the youngster and his friends.

And the child had a two-word reply for Augustus: "He said thank you afterwards, and his friends weren't particularly shocked, I could tell by his demeanour that he was carrying a knife" said Augustus. Augustus said following the incident, on Friday May 17, he safely disposed of the knife and flagged the issue with the school.

Augustus was locked up in 1996, serving nine years of a 12-year sentence for aggravated burglary when he was just 17. He once had seven cars on his grandmother's drive at the height of his criminal career and was in and out of prison for his childhood after being kicked out of school.

Augustus was stabbed and nearly paralysed in a rival attack when he was a teenager, and came out of prison in his late twenties, forced to start again. Now a speaker for West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner's Precious Lives project, Augustus, 46, delivers powerful talks to teens across the city. The Precious Lives project sends in people like Augustus, who have real-life experience with knife crime, to help them understand the consequence of carrying a blade.

The latest West Midlands Police figures show the region as a whole was rocked by 11,286 knife crimes in the past three years. Birmingham held the most offences during this period, with the city accounting for 55 per cent of all region-wide knife crime incidents. You can read more on those sobering statistics, here.

The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner said of the Precious Lives Project: "The Precious Lives project sees a team of trainers, who have real life experience of knife crime either as a victim, offender or professional, speak to young people in order to help them understand the consequences of carrying or using a knife. The trainers share their experiences and pass on the lessons they’ve learnt to the class.

"The sessions are designed to be hard hitting and impactful with an emphasis placed on connecting with the young people and delivering a message."