'Bleed kits should be available in taxis' as more installed across Bristol

The bleed kit installed at the Green Melon community hub in St Pauls. -Credit:Abdul Malik
The bleed kit installed at the Green Melon community hub in St Pauls. -Credit:Abdul Malik

Bleed kits should be in taxis and become more accessible in businesses in Bristol as the city continues to curb knife crime. Ashley ward councillor and businessman Abdul Malik made the suggestion after new bleed kits were installed at the Malcolm X Community Centre and inside the Green Melon on Ashley Road in St Pauls.

The kits provide essential tools to help slow the bleeding in case of a knife crime attack and contain tourniquets, bandages, gels and tools and advice which could prevent people from bleeding to death while paramedics race to the scene. Abdul Malik was pleased to pay for a bleed kit inside the Green Melon community hub, which will be available for public use during the shop’s opening hours.

Cllr Malik outlined how essential bleed kits are in any area and even called for them to be installed in taxis across the city. He added this could help save lives in time-critical situations if users could use a smartphone app to locate their nearest kit.

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He said: “If there’s an area outside a shop or inside the premises if there’s somewhere they need a bleed kit, they are good places to install them. They are full of plasters, wraps scissors, as well as instructions on different parts of the body and how to stop the bleed.

“Anyone who wants to benefit from one should reach out. The bleed kit is an essential item.

“Every taxi should have one. I will talk to Bristol City Council about it as it is a lifesaver and emergency response to an injury. For example, if someone like Uber or taxi firm could get involved, that could mean someone calls 999 and they could be directed to the nearest bleed kit.

“There should be a way to coordinate bleed kits or deliberators and they could be guided through the Uber system or through a smartphone app and tell them where one is in the area.”

While the bleed kit at Green Melon has not been used yet, Cllr Malik said he has helped defuse two arguments outside the hub that he feels could have dangerously escalated. He said: “We have had two conflicts outside and I reached out and stopped both people. I just walked out and said 'guys stop' and they moved away.

“I am a qualified mediator and I want to calm down and listen and communicate with each side and help. There are things that can be done to resolve issues and may well be key in resolving long-standing issues like knife crime that we see today.”

He said he is awaiting permission to move the bleed kit outside so it can be made available 24 hours a day.

Bleed kits have become more present in Bristol since campaigner Leanne Reynolds began championing their importance, following the death of Dontae Davis in Lawrence Hill in October 2021. Her mission has secured backing from the NHS and the Daniel Baird Foundation - a charity which set up to raise money to buy and install the kits following the death of a 26-year-old who was stabbed in Birmingham in 2017.

Cllr Malik is a signatory for the Together for Change campaign, which has seen community leaders, groups, schools and sports facilities join Bristol’s media and demand change and say enough is enough. We have set out six key aims: