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London council launches new initiative to tackle knife crime

Barking and Dagenham Council has started a new campaign calling on parents to track their children’s whereabouts in a attempt to reduce youth knife crime

The campaign is focused on a seven-minute video and advertisement campaign where parents of murdered children talk of the dreadful effects knife crime has had on themselves and their families.

The initiative highlights the increase in knife crime seen recently, with council figures recording 67 knife attacks on young people as well as 1,794 robberies of personal property by a young person in the last 2 years. It also notes that most knife crime occurs between the hours of 3pm and 9pm – the period between school finishing and parents returning from work.

In the campaign video, Stephen Addison, the founder of youth charity Box Up, highlights how vulnerable young people are groomed by drugs gangs and urges parents to “Take time out with your children. Ask them questions - who is your friend? Where did you get the new trainers from? Why have you got that phone?”

Barking & Dagenham Councillor Maureen Worby said: “There is no hiding away from the fact that youth violence is getting worse, not just in Barking and Dagenham but across the whole of London.

Every young person has a parent or a guardian who is responsible for them and we are asking you to work with us now to stop this continuous issue of youth violence.”