A Swindon man who was once a violent criminal has started a campaign to get dangerous knives banned from the UK. 

Paul Simmons, believes that it is far too easy for people, and young people in particular, to get their hands on large and aggressive knives, often referred as Zombie knives. 

As a result, he has started a petition calling for a ban on the sale and importation of zombie-style knives, stating that currently there are many websites freely selling and shipping these lethal weapons to the UK. 

He said: "Well, obviously I see knife crime on the news every single day and it affects me personally, I was a knife carrier, I was very stupid when I was carrying weapons."

Swindon Advertiser: Paul Simmons after committing a violent robbery in 2012Paul Simmons after committing a violent robbery in 2012 "There have been half-baked attempts to get them banned, but they need to be completely stopped from being imported to our country and there needs to be serious penalties for doing so."

Paul spent 27 years addicted to heroin and crack cocaine, relapsing and repeatedly returning to prison after committing home invasions, armed robbery, kidnapping, and firearms offences to fund his deadly Class A drug habit.

He says he has been involved in stabbings and has been stabbed himself but at the time he used to just carry around a small kitchen knife. 

After the birth of his second child forced him to sober up, Paul has started working to use his experience to help turn others away from the path he went down using videos on social media as Paul Addict Mentor

Swindon Advertiser: Paul Simmons and his social media set-upPaul Simmons and his social media set-up (Image: Dave Cox)He said: "I have been involved in the stabbing, I have a massive stab wound myself that I’ve survived from, I have seen friends stabbed, and also been on the other end, so I know full well  the chaos and the fear that you can put into someone by pulling out a blade, it is terrifying, people are dying, and I just want to change that.

"My kids are growing up, one will be 7 years old and the other 9, and I am petrified that my sons may be a statistic, so it has to stop."

Zombie knives have recently made national headlines after actor Idris Elba called for them to be banned, which the government has now agreed to do in September. 

Wiltshire Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Wilkinson has also backed plans to ban all zombie knives and not just those with violent words on them

He said: “There is absolutely no practical use for these weapons whatsoever and I welcome the government taking positive steps to close this loophole."