Caroline Shearer presents 50,000-strong petition by Only Cowards Carry on weapons awareness to Downing Street

Natasha Potter, assistant managing director of Only Cowards Carry, Colchester MP Will Quince, and ch

Natasha Potter, assistant managing director of Only Cowards Carry, Colchester MP Will Quince, and charity founder Caroline Shearer - Credit: Archant

The mother of a teenager fatally stabbed in Colchester today presented a petition to Downing Street calling for better education around the dangers of knives.

Caroline Shearer’s son Jay Whiston, 17, was killed at a house party in 2012.

His death prompted Mrs Shearer, from Clacton, to found the Only Cowards Carry charity.

As well as campaigning for tougher sentences for those caught carrying knives and helping set up amnesty bins across Essex, the organisation has also been running a petition for weapons awareness education to be added to the national curriculum.

At midday today Mrs Shearer, accompanied by the charity’s assistant managing director Natasha Potter and Colchester MP Will Quince, delivered the 50,000-strong petition to the Prime Minister’s residence at 10 Downing Street.


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Mrs Shearer said: “Only Cowards Carry is extremely grateful for all the support received for this petition – with more than 50,000 signatures the public have really got behind us.

“Young people need weapons awareness education and we need our young people and communities safe.”

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Miss Potter said everyone involved had been “overwhelmed” by the amount of support given by the public.

Mr Quince added: “I was privileged to join Only Cowards Carry in presenting a petition to Downing Street as part of their campaign to get weapons awareness on the national curriculum.

“I am delighted to draw attention to an important cause and to pay tribute to the amazing efforts of this charity.”

The 50,000 signatures were all given by hand.

It calls for secondary school children to be made aware of the dangers and consequences of carrying a knife or any other weapon.

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