Ilford peace monument unveiled for victims of knife crime

A memorial statue which “promotes peace, hope and unity” was unveiled in Ilford yesterday.

Redbridge Peace Monument, which stands on the junction of Riches Road and Winston Way, is designed to commemorate the lives of people who have died due to violent crime.

The �12,000 project was an idea of Parvin Mahmood, mother of Kashif who was stabbed to death during a brawl near the location in September 2005.

Wilson Chowdhry, chairman of the East Ilford Business Partnership, which ran the scheme, said: “Mrs Mahmood came to me in 2005 asking for a long term memorial to victims of knife crime.

“The idea was to have a monument which is focused on peace, hope and unity and that inspires people.

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“It also commemorates the lives lost and can be a focal point for people to represent their hurt or outrage.”

The structure, due to be completed on Friday, will feature a plaque which includes Kashif’s name and that of Westley Odger who was fatally stabbed as he withdrew cash from an ATM in Colchester in September 2005.

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It will have symbols and words which support the theme, mosaics which have cultural influences and a gold cone which represents life and new hope.

Mr Chowdhry added the monument could be used for school talks on knife crime and the potential impact on offenders, victims and their families.

Sponsorship was provided by a number of sources including the British Pakistani Christian Association, Redbridge Carnival and AA Security.

A donation of �1,000 was given by Westley’s mother Ann Oakes-Odger and a donation of �2,000 was made by Parvin Mahmood, the mother of Kashif.

The remainder was provided by a grant of �5,000 from The East London Community Foundation.

On Saturday the monument will be officially inaugurated at Redbridge Peace Concert, held in High Road which will run from noon to 6pm.

The event will feature musical performances, arts and crafts and talks from anti violence groups.

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