Conservative MP Christopher Chope has said teenagers at risk of knife crime could protect themselves by learning self defence.
Speaking at a committee about violent crime, Mr Chope said learning martial arts such as judo and taekwondo could help teenagers for when they are threatened with a knife.
In a question to the Chief Constable of West Midlands Police, he said: “One of the ways people can be prepared is by doing judo, taekwondo and being physically capable of being able to deal with a situation in which you are threatened with a knife.
“Do you think there is something to be said in encouraging young people to do these activities? So that they don’t have to take a knife out and they can protect themselves in a situation should it arise.”
Chief Constable Thompson said the best “knife prevention technique” was to run away: “I would not encourage the combat readiness of martial arts in young people, but what we do see in these types of groups that there is some attraction to these sports," he said.
“I was visiting one of the mosques that was damaged and the mosque runs a martial arts club that is hugely popular. It takes young men off the street and channels them into competitive activity.”
Mr Chope described martial arts as an “alternative” to carry a knife.
“It is an alternative so if they say that they are carrying a knife because I want to protect myself, but an alternative is protecting yourself by being fitter and more able to deal with that sort of attack.
“A lot of young women are taught how to deal with men who are violent and threatening towards them.”