Jo puts the boot into knife crime after her hometown falls prey to organised crime

News Page 12th June 2019

A pair of boots with high heels made from knives has been created by a University of Northampton student as a reaction to the rise of organised crime that’s blighted her home town.

Like the majority of residents living in Banbury, mum-of-four, Jo Allen, has been shocked by the activities of criminal gangs that have targeted the seemingly sleepy Oxfordshire market town.

In 2018, eight people from Banbury were jailed as part of a police campaign to tackle organised crime and ‘county lines’ drug dealing in the town – as reported by the Banbury Guardian.

While Jo feels powerless to do anything about the situation, she has managed to channel her anguish into something creative – by making the striking blood red leather boots, complete with carving knives for heels.

Jo Allen's knife boots

Jo Allen’s knife boots

The final year Footwear & Accessories student said: “You might not think it if you were passing through, but Banbury is suffering from the activities of criminal gangs based in larger cities.

“It’s happening across the country, with trafficking networks being set up to bring drugs into smaller communities. With a railway station and the M40 on its doorstep, Banbury was ripe for infiltration by gangs from London and Birmingham.

“Making the boots has been quite a therapeutic process for me, but I made them because I wanted to create something thought provoking. They are a visual statement which I hope will allow people to start that awkward conversation about what could be seen as a taboo topic in places like Banbury.”

< Prev

New social work lecturer is cooking up an academic treat for her students

Next >

Students investigate car crash aftermath at careers taster day


Our brand new £330 million campus.

  • Designed to adapt to 21st century teaching.
  • Full range of integrated learning environments.
  • 24/7 library and learning zone.
  • Low environmental impact.

Now Open

Discover the campus

360° Tour