More schools must teach of the dangers of knife crime - Essex MP

Colchester MP Will Quince

Colchester MP Will Quince - Credit: Su Anderson

More schools should be showing teenagers the brutal impact of knife attacks and wounds, an Essex MP has said. Will Quince urged the government to take a long hard look at encouraging more schools to follow the lead of north Essex charity Only Cowards Carry, at a debate in the House of Commons.

He said too many young people still through it was acceptable to carry blades, wrongly believing it would keep them safe.

The Colchester MP highlighted the work of Caroline Shearer, whose 17-year-old son, Jay Whiston, was fatally stabbed that year in 2012.

“Since then Caroline, who is an inspirational woman, has campaigned to show the devastating impact of knife crime on young lives and families, and she has provided weapons awareness lessons in schools.

“Those hard-hitting lessons show young people the dangers of carrying knives and blades. I have been to one and, trust me, they leave an impact. Students who are usually cocky and confident finish the lesson shocked and startled at the brutal impact that knives can have on lives. The images of knife attacks and knife wounds on young people hit home very hard. We need to send out the message that all it takes is one moment of stupidity for lives and reputations to be shattered,” he said.

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He said that while schools taught pupils about internet safety, road safety and citizenship, not enough schools were teaching pupils about the danger of carrying knives.

“As I have found, ministers regularly throw back the challenge that the demands on the curriculum are great. I accept that point, but, to be clear, I am talking about one 45-minute lesson in year nine or year 10. That would not be a huge burden on the national curriculum,” he added.

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