Campaigner calls for police to carry tasers after two knifepoint robberies

Campaigner Caroline Shearer lost her son Jay Whiston after he was fatally stabbed in 2012 Picture: G

Campaigner Caroline Shearer lost her son Jay Whiston after he was fatally stabbed in 2012 Picture: GREGG BROWN - Credit: Gregg Brown

An anti-knife crime campaigner has called for police to be armed with tasers after two knifepoint robberies were reported in as many days in north Essex.

Ms Shearer said she thought police should carry tasers to better protect the community against knife

Ms Shearer said she thought police should carry tasers to better protect the community against knife crime Picture: GREGG BROWN - Credit: Gregg Brown

In the early hours of this morning, a teenage boy was the victim of a violent mugging when three men robbed him of his iPhone, cash and bodywarmer.

The boy was walking along Rickstones Road, Witham, when a dark-coloured Mini Cooper carrying three men pulled up beside him.

One of the men got out of the car and threatened the teenager with a knife before taking his belongings.

The victim was then hit by another passenger from behind – leaving him very shaken with minor injuries.

Ms Shearer's charity Only Cowards Carry campaigns for better awareness of knife crime and its conseq

Ms Shearer's charity Only Cowards Carry campaigns for better awareness of knife crime and its consequences Picture: ARCHANT - Credit: Archant


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The second incident, not believed to be linked to the Witham robbery, happened on bank holiday Monday – when staff at an Braintree betting shop were also threatened with a knife.

A man went into the Coral bookmakers in Great Square at around 1.30pm and demanded money from the till.

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After threatening staff at knifepoint, he made off with a three-figure sum of cash.

Caroline Shearer, who founded the charity Only Cowards Carry after her son Jay was fatally stabbed in 2012, said she thought all police officers should carry taser guns to provide greater protection for the community.

The first incident took place on Rickstones Road in Witham, where a teenager boy was robbed by a gan

The first incident took place on Rickstones Road in Witham, where a teenager boy was robbed by a gang of three Picture: GOOGLE MAPS - Credit: GOOGLE MAPS

“The streets are not safe anymore,” she said. “These youngsters are out of control. It has got to stop and it has got to stop now.”

Ms Shearer, whose charity is based in Clacton, added that the justice system needed to step up to limit the damage caused by a culture of violence – as criminals are “not worried about going to prison”.

Police have since put out appeals for witnesses to both attacks.

The suspect in the Witham robbery has been described as white, aged in his 20s and around 5ft 5in tall.

The second robbery happened at Coral bookies in Great Square, Braintree Picture: GOOGLE MAPS

The second robbery happened at Coral bookies in Great Square, Braintree Picture: GOOGLE MAPS - Credit: GOOGLE MAPS

He wore a black tracksuit and had long, curly dark hair. After the attack, the car left in the direction of Morrisons on Braintree Road.

Meanwhile, the suspect for the Braintree attack has been described as white, in his 20s, and standing at around 5ft 8in tall.

He had ginger facial hair and wore a grey hooded top with a Nike logo.

Anyone who witnessed the incident in Witham should call 101 and speak to Braintree CID, quoting reference number 49 of May 29.

Those with information about the second incident should call Braintree CID, quoting reference number 588 of May 28.

Alternatively, people can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.

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