A MAN who made it his mission to visit every school in Redditch to warn of Britain's knife crime crisis now wants to go one better.

Pete Martin, from the Redditch Self Defence Association, has already spoken to thousands of pupils but now says he wants to do more - and visit every school in the county.

He said the aim is to ultimately help save lives.

Mr Martin, who has the support of Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion, holds awareness talks and self defence demonstrations.

The aim is to get the simple message across that carrying a knife is the wrong thing to do.

"The presentations are not designed to teach pupils physical techniques as it is believed they are very unreliable in live situations," he said.

"I'll be showing pupils how to react to different threats with a knife. Robbery is usually a different dynamic to a predator attack.

"It will not be a boring course.

"Teachers I've had contact with have been surprised at how useful the course is, and have realised its not just about physical defences. The feedback from the pupils is great as well - they seem to enjoy it."

Mr Martin, who recently appeared on BBC 1 to promote knife crime awareness, has been a self defence instructor since 1989.

He added: "We all have a legal right to defend ourselves by law and I think we should know the methods to be able to try and do that.

"Children should also be made aware of the real risks in our area and not be scared by what they see in the media. The biggest reason young people carry knives in our area is fear."

West Mercia Police are working with the association to try and get funding so the work can continue and grow.

Hereford and Worcestershire Sports Partnership has also agreed to work with Mr Martin to engage young people in positive activities and lead them away from crime.

It comes as councils recently warned the Government against making further funding cuts to youth offending teams as knife crime continues to come under the spotlight.

Efforts to stop children joining gangs and becoming involved in violent crime will be “undermined” if funding to tackle youth offending is cut further, the Local Government Association (LGA) said.

Figures show that youth justice grants, which fund the work of youth offending teams within councils, have been halved from £145 million in 2010/11 to £71.5 million in 2018/19, the LGA added.

For more on Pete Martin or the school visits, go to redditchselfdefence.co.uk.