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Campaign launched to encourage Redbridge parents to warn children about knife crime

PUBLISHED: 12:00 12 March 2020

A model poses holding a knife. PA Photo. Picture date: Thursday January 16, 2020. Picture: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

A model poses holding a knife. PA Photo. Picture date: Thursday January 16, 2020. Picture: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

PA Wire/PA Images

A campaign has been launched in Redbridge to encourage parents to warn their children about knife crime.

The initiative, called #FeelSafeRedbridge, highlights the potential impact on young people of carrying a knife such as the risk of a jail term, criminal record or expulsion from school and college.

It has been set up by Redbridge Council and aims to persuade parents to speak to their kids about the consequences of carrying knives.

Council leader Jas Athwal said: 'As a community, there is so much we can do to help prevent knife crime.

'When we talk to our children, listen to their concerns around safety and help educate them on the dangers of gangs and knives, we can help stem the tide of violence.

'Often parents and families are the first line of defence, so taking the time to speak to children to find out if they're experiencing peer pressure or anxiety can make a huge difference.'

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The council revealed that it decided to set up the campaign after holding a focus group with members of Redbridge Youth Council.

The youth council said parents need to do more to tackle knife crime and that young people are concerned about their safety in the evenings.

During the campaign, free activities for young people are being promoted such as a Young People's Hub in Barkingside and the opening of Box Up Crime Gym in Ilford.

'We want parents to encourage their children to take full advantage of our extensive range of free youth activities,' Cllr Athwal said.

'These activities offer a path away from gangs and anti-social behaviour and can give young people a safe environment to have fun, try new hobbies and meet new people.'

The council is also calling on parents to monitor their child's social media activity and talk to them to when they leave school and in the evening to make sure they feel safe.

Police officers, in partnership with the Inspired Futures charity, will be delivering anti-knife workshops to secondary schools in the borough until July.

For more about the dangers of knife crime, visit www.redbridge.gov.uk/knife-safety.

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