Idris Elba Launches Campaign As He Calls For Ban On Machetes & “Zombie” Knives

BY Dora Abena Dzaka January 9, 2024 6:14 PM EDT
Photo Credit; Facebook @Idris Elba

British actor and musician, Idris Elba, has declared that there is no longer any room for justifications or delays in addressing the issue of youth knife violence.

Idris has called for immediate prohibitions on machetes and “zombie” knives, as well as increased funding for youth services.

In an interview with The Guardian on Monday, the 51-year-old stated that society could come together to find a solution, but that to do so, professionals in youth services and bereaved families needed to be able to meet in the same room as legislators and law enforcement, among others.

“When the world is looking in on us, they’re thinking: ‘[England] must have a tolerance for knife crime.’ And we don’t, we shouldn’t,” the Luther star said.

He went on to say that he wanted to form an advisory group made up of community leaders, youth workers, and bereaved relatives, as well as young people who were “aspirational” and could provide insight into the thoughts of their peers.

Elba declared that he would also ask the police to consider how they interact with various communities.

The Beasts Of No Nation star man stated that a comprehensive strategy was necessary, but that a complete ban on zombie knives and other similar weapons would be a significant symbolic gesture.

“The government is aware that weapons like swords, machetes, and zombie knives have no place in society. The request for an immediate ban is a very powerful symbol that tells us… Our patience with what is occurring to the youth is wearing thin.”

In 2016, the sale of zombie knives was essentially outlawed and came with jail time as a penalty. However, by April of last year, ministers were still discussing the necessity of closing a legal loophole before the weapons could be deemed to be outlawed.

Since the delay in enacting the entire law, several high-profile incidents have happened, including Elianne Andam’s death. In September, while traveling to her school in Croydon, south London, the 15-year-old was fatally stabbed with what appeared to be a sizable zombie knife. Her murder has been charged against a 17-year-old boy.

Idris Elba is releasing a song called Knives Down as a part of his campaign, Don’t Stop Your Future.

He launched the project on Monday in London’s Parliament Square with a display where perfectly folded clothes were arranged, one for each person who has passed away. The exhibit was meant to raise awareness of the scope of the problem while paying reverent homage to the lives lost.

As it made it “easier for people to turn away from the issue,” Idris Elba expressed his eagerness to dispel the myth that youth knife violence in London was restricted to people of color.