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Parents call for community action against knife crime

New action group wants to find root causes to why youths carry weapons

12 May, 2017 — By Alina Polianskaya

Angel Samuel and Ajok Athian say youth violence has become ‘an epidemic’

PARENTS launching a knife action group say a big community response is needed to stem a rise in teenage stabbings.

Community campaigner Angel Samuel, a mother with a teenage son in north Westminster, said it was vital something was done before more young lives were claimed.

Ms Samuel said: “I wanted to set up a project as this problem is not going to stop and more of our children are going to die. It’s become an epidemic. Every week in the newspaper I read about someone dying. We are losing our children.”

It comes after another serious stabbing in north Westminster this week after an attack in Paddington left a young man hospitalised with a punctured lung.

Ms Samuel said she believed some children “grow up angry” and without “a sense of justice” because they had been made to feel like criminals by the authorities.

She added: “We want to work together with parents and schools to find out what we can do. Everybody needs to be involved, it needs to be the whole community.” She said it was vital to find the root causes about why young people decide to carry weapons.

Another parent Ajok Athian said: “I feel this needs to be at the top of the agenda, it needs to be a priority. These things can no longer be ignored or taken lightly. I think it is important as prevention is much better than dealing with things when they happen.”

They have already been distributing questionnaires in the community asking for views on a range of issues including mental health and how to make teenagers less afraid about reporting their peers who are carrying knives.

The new group also aims to campaign against shops selling knives to teenagers and better safety in schools.

Members will be at the WECH Community Centre table-top sale in Athens Gardens, off Chantry Close, every Saturday between 1pm and 8pm where they are keen to speak to people about getting involved.

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